The black dogfish (Centroscyllium fabricii) is a small deepwater shark found on the outer continental shelf and slopes around 180-2,250 metres deep. Reaching to be least 90 cm in length, this schooling shark has a widespread distribution in the temperate Atlantic Ocean (there are a few tropical records but those have not been 100% confirmed). #Finfact: Parts of this shark can glow, too!
Now you may be wondering, "Woah, TFUI. Schooling? How?" According to the IUCN: "Exhibits size structure segregation by depth for both sexes off Iceland with the smallest immature specimens found at 1,000 and 1,500 m, and larger individuals at depths in between. The overall sex ratio off Iceland was 1.00:1.19 in favour of females. Males were more numerous in shallower waters but in depths >1,000 m, the sex ratio was significantly in favour of females (Jakobsdottir 2001)."
Speaking of females, it seems that in Canadian waters pregnant females migrate to the shallow (<400 m) part of the Laurentian Channel to pup (Kulka 2006). They are aplacental viviparous and their litters can have up to 40 pups (though that is not the average)! The young then move into deeper waters of the channel. As they grow they move onto the continental shelf where they feed on crustaceans, cephalopods, jellyfish and small fish. These dogfish are also scavengers. The IUCN has assessed these animals as Least Concern (LC).
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TFUI Founder Melissa C. Marquez is author of all animal bios and "Behind the Fins" segments.
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