Gran Canarian Angel Sharks

Gran Canarian Angel Sharks

As we see so many Angel Sharks whilst we dive in the Atlantic Ocean, around the coastline of Gran Canaria, here are a few facts about the amazing creatures we see.


GENERAL DESCRIPTION

The Angelsharks are flat-bodied sharks, very ray-like. They bury themselves in the sand or mud with only the eyes and part of the top of the body exposed. They have a blunt snout and are camouflaged to blend into the sand and rocks of the ocean bed. They have long, wide fins that look like wings, giving it its name. It is also known as the monk shark, sand devil, and monkfish. Angelsharks are frequently caught for food.

TEETH

Angelsharks have small, sharp teeth in trap-like jaws.

SIZE

The various species of Angelsharks range in size up to 6.5 feet (2 m) long. The Pacific Angelshark is up to 5 feet (1.5 m) long.

DIET AND FEEDING HABITS

Angelsharks eat fish, crustaceans, and mollusks. They spend the day hidden in the sand and rocks of the ocean bed. As fish swim by, the angelshark bursts up and surprises the prey, catching it in its trap-like jaws.

HABITAT

Angelsharks are bottom dwellers that live on ocean floors of depths from 10 to 4,300 feet (3 to 1300 m). They live in warm temperate oceans in the southern hemisphere.

DISTRIBUTION

Pacific angelsharks are found in the eastern Pacific Ocean , from southern Alaska, USA to Baja, CA, USA and from Ecuador to southern Chile.

REPRODUCTION

Angelsharks reproduce via aplacental viviparity with litters of 8-13 live-born pups. In aplacental viviparity, the eggs hatch and the babies develop inside the female’s body but there is no placenta to nourish the pups.


SPEED

Angelsharks are not extremely fast swimmers. Their prey is even slower.

ANGELSHARK CLASSIFICATION

Kingdom Animalia (animals)
Phylum Chordata
Subphylum Vertebrata (vertebrates)
Class Chondrichthyes (cartilaginous fish)
Subclass Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays)
Family Squatinidae
Order Squatiniformes
Genus Squatina


SPECIES

  • aculeata
  • africana
  • argentina
  • australis
  • californica
  • dimeril
  • formosa
  • japonica
  • nebulosa
  • oculata
  • squatina
  • tergocellata
  • tergocellatiodes

All the best,

The Blue Water Diving team

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