'Tis the season for angels… angel sharks, that is. Introducing the last critter to be featured for TFUI in 2017: the gulf angel shark (Squatina heteroptera)! They are also known as the disparate angel shark.
Though they may not be as pretty as an angel on top of a Christmas tree, they are pleasant to look at with their dark brown dorsal side that has pale white spots scattered about. Pretend it’s a dusting of snow…
These angel sharks lack ocelli, but have two distinct round black spots on the upper edge of their pectoral fins. They also lack any thorns or enlarged denticles. Gulf angel sharks are notorious for blending into their surroundings, so make sure to do the stingray shuffle and try not to step on anything — you may be stepping on a well camouflaged angel shark!
Gulf angel sharks can get up to 49 cm in length and are found in the Gulf of Mexico and the Western Atlantic up to 164 metres deep. Little else is known about these fascinating animals, and the IUCN has yet to evaluate them.
want to see an angel shark? so do we!
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TFUI Founder Melissa C. Marquez is author of all animal bios and "Behind the Fins" segments.
SEE MELISSA'S TEDx TALK HERE:
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