There is one drawback to showcasing diverse Chondrichthyans (those are the sharks, skates, rays, and chimaeras)… for those less charismatic ones, there isn’t a lot of research done on them! This is the case for this shark, Edmund's spurdog (Squalus edmundsi).
Edmund’s spurdog is a dogfish described by researchers in 2007. Like other dogfish, they are a member of the Squalidae family! Found in the waters around Asia and Oceania (e.g. Australia and New Zealand) in the Pacific, their genus name squalus comes from the Latin word that means “shark.” Edmundsi comes from the man this shark was named after, Matthew Edmunds. He was with the CSIRO Marine Laboratory in the 1990’s!
A pelagic animal, they are known to swim from 200 metres down to a little bit less than 900 metres… aka this is a cold, dark, deep area of our oceans to hang around in! The length of the longest specimen measured in at 115 cm; males mature at around 54 cm total length (TL). Like other dogfish, they have a long body with a narrow, triangular snout and they sport nasal flaps! These sharks can also pack a punch, as both dorsal fins have spines in front of those fins. They have a dark caudal bar through the base of their lower caudal fin lobe, too.
Also known as the Western Highfin Spurdog, they are viviparous (aplacental) species and only produce 5-6 pups in each litter. According to the IUCN, they suspect their populations have gone down as they are frequent bycatch of demersal longline fisheries that operate in the deepwater in their home range. They don’t go to waste, though, as their meat, fins, and liver oil are worth a pretty penny and are used. Due to this, they have assessed this critter as Near Threatened (NT).
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TFUI Founder Melissa C. Marquez is author of all animal bios and "Behind the Fins" segments.
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