Smooth dogfish

From Academic Kids

Smooth dogfish
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Chondrichthyes
Order:Carcharhiniformes
Family:Triakidae
Genus:Mustelus
Species:M. canis
Binomial name
Mustelus canis
Mitchill, 1815

The Smooth Dogfish, Mustelus canis

Contents

General Description

Length for the smooth dogfish has been documented as 59 inches (1.5 m), with a maximum weight of 27 pounds (12 kg). Smooth dogfish reach maximum size at seven to eight years of age. Average size of this shark is approximately 48 inches (1.2 m). Data indicates females live to 16 years and males have a life span of 10 years. This species grows quickly, with males reaching maturity at two to three years of age, and females at four to five years of age . This shark is an olive gray or brown, and may have shades of yellow or grayish white.

Habitat

A common resident on bays, and other inshore waters, the smooth dogfish prefers shallow waters of less than 60 feet (18 m) in depth but may be found to depths of 655 feet (200 m). This species has also been found on occasion in freshwater although it is unlikely they can survive freshwater for extended periods of time. The smooth dogfish migrates seasonally, moving north in the spring and south in the autumn. It is primarily a nocturnal species.

Food Habits

As a scavenger and opportunistic predator, the nocturnal smooth dogfish feeds primarily on large crustaceans, including lobsters, shrimp, and crabs, as well as small fish and mollusks. The flat, blunt teeth of the dogfish are used to crush and grind these prey items which have tough outer body coverings. Small fish that are preyed upon by the smooth dogfish include menhaden and tautog. Young smooth dogfish feed on small shrimps, worms, and crabs.

Reproduction

Mating occurs throughout most of the smooth dogfish's range from May through July. Following a gestation period of approximately 10-11 months, a litter numbering as few as 4 and as many as 20 is born during late spring or early summer. Larger females tend to have larger litters of pups. Upon birth, the pups are 13 to 15 inches (330 to 380 mm) in length.

Importance to Humans and The Bay

In certain areas, the flesh of Smooth Dogfish is marketed as fresh or dried salted for human consumption. The smooth dogfish is often used as a lab animal and in public display at aquariums.

See also

Shark articles
Angel | Basking | Blacktip Reef | Blue | Bull | Carpet | Cat | Cookiecutter | Freshwater | Frilled | Goblin | Gray Reef | Grey Nurse | Great White | Hammerhead | Mako | Megamouth | Nurse | Oceanic Whitetip | Porbeagle | Requiem | River | Sand | Sandbar | Saw | Silky | Sleeper | Smooth dogfish | Thresher | Tiger | Whale (shark) | Whitetip reef | Wobbegong | Zebra / Leopard
Extinct shark species
Megalodon | Cladoselache | Squalicorax

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