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This highly distinctive group of sharks comprises a single family of about 13 species. All species hatch young from eggs within the body.

Appearance: Raylike fishes with mottled backs, the angelsharks have two dorsal fins, no anal fin, and large pectoral fins that reach forward over the gills. The upper lobe of the tail fin is shorter than the lower lobe. Its mouth has small teeth for impaling.

Pacific Angelshark Squatina californica
Pacific angelshark

Size: The largest reach a length of eight ft, but most species do not exceed five ft.

Habitat: Shallow to moderate depths on the continental shelves and upper slopes from intertidal zones to depths of 4,500 ft. Often found during the day on sandy or muddy bottoms.

Distribution: Broadly distributed in cool temperate to tropical waters in most seas except the central Pacific and most of the Indian Ocean.

Diet: Small fishes, crustaceans, squid and octopuses, bivalves and sea-snails.

Shark bite: During the daytime, angelsharks are often found buried in mud and sand on the bottom.

13 Species

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