Sixgill, Sevengill and Frilled Sharks
These sharks sport a single dorsal fin, six or seven pairs of gill openings and
an anal fin. They occur in deep water throughout the world's oceans and hatch
young from eggs inside the body.
Appearance: Resembling an eel, this slim shark has a snake-like head and a
terminal mouth, small teeth in both jaws, and six pairs of gill openings with
Size: Up to 78.4 in
Habitat: On or near the bottom on outer continental and island shelves and
upper slopes at depths between about 400 and 4,200 feet, but
occasionally inshore or at the surface.
Distribution: Scattered marine locations worldwide.
Diet: Very little is known, but the remains of a small shark were found in a
frilled shark in South Africa.
Shark bite: Frilled sharks reproduce all year round in deep water off Japan.
Sixgill and Sevengill Sharks
Appearance: Big-bodied sharks with high fins and lengthy snouts. Their upper
teeth are ideal for impaling prey, while their lower cusps are designed for
cutting. Six pair of gill openings in two species, seven in two other
Size: The smallest of the group is the sharpnose sevengill shark, which does
not exceed 4.5 ft. The largest of the group is the giant bluntnose
sixgill shark, which grows to almost 16.5 ft.
Habitat: The two sixgills and the sharpnose sevengill occur mostly in deeper
water on outer shelves and upper slopes from about 300 to 6,000 feet.
The spotted sevengill favors continental shelves and breeds in shallow
Distribution: Wide-ranging in coastal and offshore waters of temperate and
tropical seas. None is oceanic.
Diet: Relatively large prey, such as bony fishes, other sharks, rays,
chimaeras, squid, crabs, shrimp, and carrion. The bluntnose sixgill and
broadnose seven grill feed on all kinds of carrion as well as live prey.
Shark bite: The broadnose sevengill shark may coordinate its movements with the
tidal cycle, moving in with a tidal rise and out with its fall.
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© | Updated June 2002