The great lanternshark (Etmopterus princeps) is a small, black-ish (it’s sometimes more dark brown than black) that’s covered in hooked denticles. “Hooked?!” Yes, hooked. In fact, they resemble tiny teeth and also sport a grooved spine in front of its two dorsal fins. That second dorsal fin tends to be rather large and curved, making it a rather unique-looking critter.
The stout-bodied great lanternshark has large, sensitive eyes to adapt to the low light levels of the deep waters. Found in the North and East Central Atlantic, they can be observed near the bottom of the continental slope (think depths of 350-2,213 m) and have been recorded as deep as 4,500 m. Pretty impressive for a shark that only gets up to 89 cm in length!
While their reproduction is unknown, we do know their diet is comprised of mainly fish, cephalopods, and crustaceans. The IUCN has classified the great lanternshark as Data Deficient (DD) on the IUCN Red List.
ever heard of this shark?
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TFUI Founder Melissa C. Marquez is author of all animal bios and "Behind the Fins" segments.
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