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.
Size: The largest reach a length of eight ft, but most species do not exceed
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
Shark bite: During the daytime, angelsharks are often found buried in mud and
sand on the bottom.