All but one shark in this family are deep-sea creatures; the Broadnose Sevengill Shark permanently inhabits shallow coastal waters. Hexanchidae sharks are six or seven-gilled, heavy-bodied with lowered mouths (called ventral or subterminal mouths). Their upper teeth are cuspidate for impalement, and lower teeth are broad saw-like for cutting; a very “knife and fork” dentition combination. They can be found in deep waters in warm temperatures and tropical regions, and they may enter shallower waters in cold temperatures.
Profile Species: Sharpnose Sevengill Shark (Heptranchias perlo)
Distribution: Dispersed world-wide (except northeast Pacific) in tropical and temperate seas.
Habitat: Continental and island shelves and upper slopes in mainly benthic and epibenthic off-bottom waters between 27 and 720 meters deep. Occasionally seen in shallow waters close to shore.
Behaviour: Indicatively strong, active swimmer.
Biology: Viviparous with litters between six and 20 pups.
Diet: Feeds on fish, small sharks and some invertebrates.
*Brought to you by Sharks of the World, 2014.