Smooth dogfish is a hound shark species, belonging to the Triakidae family. Also known as smooth-hound, this shark is olive grey or brown in color and may be marked with shades of yellow or grayish white. The two large, spineless dorsal fins make it easier to identify this shark species among the Gulf of Maine sharks. These sharks are typically found in shallow water, but it has also been found at depths up to 650 feet. As the name suggests, the skin of this species of shark is very smooth. They also hunt for prey in packs, much like dogs do. Smooth dogfish have a slender body and are flattened below; with tapering, but blunt snout. Their tail is typically similar to that of other sharks, with the upper lobe being much longer than the lower. The smooth dogfish is known both as a shore fish and as a bottom swimmer. This article brings some very interesting facts and amazing information on smooth dogfish. Let us explore this fascinating shark species in detail.
Species: M. canis
Length: 1.5 m
Weight: 12 kg
Lifespan: 10-16 years
Diet: Large crustaceans
Habitat: Bays & inshore waters
Age of Sexual Maturity: 3-4 years
Gestation Period: 10-11 months
Number of Offspring: 4-20
Interesting & Amazing Information On Smooth Dogfish Shark
- Smooth dogfish prefer to reside in shallow waters and remain fairly close to the shore while migrating. They migrate seasonally, swimming northward in the spring season and coming back southwards during the fall. They are known to migrate in packs, which are made of like-sized individual sharks.
- Amongst the sharks, smooth dogfish have the unique ability to change their skin color according to their surroundings, in order to camouflage themselves. The skin of the fish may become dark or light by willfully manipulating the dermal cells known as melanophores.
- These sharks mate during the months from May to July. The little sharks are delivered during late spring or early summer. Larger females may have larger litters. Young smooth-hounds feed on shrimps, worms, and crabs and are quick to grow.
- Smooth dogfish have several low, flat teeth that are pavement-like. Their teeth are more used to crush and grind the prey items with hard outer body, than to bite or tear. Apart from feeding on lobsters and small fish, they also eat small hard clams.
- The period of gestation for these sharks is 10-11 months.
- Apart from bays and other inshore waters, this shark species has also been found in freshwater occasionally, though it is unlikely that it can survive in freshwater for a long period of time.
- The number of offspring born in a litter varies from 10 to 20 young smooth dogfish.
- Smooth dogfish is a nocturnal species of sharks, active and predating in the night, while remaining passive throughout the day.
- An average male smooth dogfish can grow up to 31 inches.
- The smooth dogfish is mainly a ‘bottom’ swimmer and is found usually close to the bed of the sea or the shore.
- It is recorded that 10,000 smooth dogfish in Buzzard’s Bay, devour more than 60,000 lobsters yearly, making them perhaps, the most relentless enemy of the lobster.
- The smooth dogfish is just one of the sharks that develop a placental connection between the mothers and the embryos.
- These fish are largely found in the western Atlantic, south of Brazil, Gulf of Maine, Cape Cod and also Bermuda.
- The shark species is the second most commonly found shark along the southern coast of New England. However, their numbers fall fairly short of the spiny dogfish, which is the most common shark in the world.
- The smooth-hound sharks are constantly on the move, when kept in captivity. They keep searching the bottom for food, which they chiefly find by their strong sense of smell.