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Table of Contents
Enchanted Learning
All About Sharks!

Geologic Time Chart
Introduction to Sharks Introduction to Rays Anatomy Shark and Ray Species Extreme Sharks Extinct Sharks Classification Shark Glossary Shark Index Printables, Worksheets, and Activities

ALL ABOUT SHARKS!
What is a Shark? Shark Information Sheets Shark Printouts to Color Evolution of Sharks Extreme Sharks

SPINY DOGFISH
Squalus acanthias


The spiny dogfish shark is the most abundant shark. This small shark is also known as the piked dogfish, skittledog, spotted dogfish, white-spotted dogfish, codshark, and thorndog. Its dorsal fin has spines that are mildly poisonous. More is known about it than any other species of shark; it is often studied in scientific laboratories. It is used extensively by people as food, fertilizer, hide, pet food, and liver oil.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION
The spiny dogfish shark is a small shark that is deep gray with some white spots; the belly is off-white. It had two dorsal fins, each preceded by a mildly poisonous spin. It has a short snout, large eyes and no anal fin.

TEETH
The smooth teeth are located in rows which rotate into use as needed. The first two rows are used in obtaining prey, the other rows rotate into place as they are needed. As teeth are lost, broken, or worn down, they are replaced by new teeth that rotate into place.

SIZE
Spiny dogfish sharks average 3-4 feet (0.9-1.2 m) long.

DIET AND FEEDING HABITS
It eats mostly fish (including other sharks), but also eats squid and octopus.

SPINY DOGFISH SHARK ATTACKS
Dogfish are not considered to be dangerous, but some damage could be done by their teeth and their slightly poisonous dorsal fin spines.

SOCIAL GROUPS
Spiny dogfish sharks are gregarious (social) and travel in schools of hundreds to thousands of individuals. These schools are sometimes segregated by sex and age. They are called dogfish because they travel and hunt in packs. They also migrate in schools, following cool waters.

HABITAT
The spiny dogfish shark stays in water that is between 45°F - 59°F (7°C - 15°C). It will venture into brackish waters. Dogfish are mostly bottom-dwellers, dwelling in depths from the surface down to 400 fathoms (2,400 feet).

DISTRIBUTION
The spiny dogfish shark is found worldwide in temperate and subarctic waters, in the temperate and subarctic latitudes of the North Atlantic and North Pacific oceans. These sharks have even been found in the Black sea and Mediterranean sea.

REPRODUCTION
The spiny dogfish shark reproduces via aplacental viviparity and bears live young. About 2-11 pups are in each litter, these pups are between 8-12 inches (20-30 cm) long. The gestation period is the longest of any vertebrate, about 18-24 months after a winter mating. This is longer than elephants or whales. Male dogfish reach maturity at 11 years old; female dogfish reach maturity at 19-20 years old.

MIGRATION
Migrates to stay in water between 45°F - 59°F (7°C - 15°F).

LIFE SPAN
Estimates of the dogfish's life span range from 25-100 years.

POPULATION COUNT
The spiny dogfish shark is very abundant, the most common shark alive.

SPINY DOGFISH SHARK CLASSIFICATION
Kingdom Animalia (animals)
Phylum Chordata
SubPhylum Vertebrata (vertebrates)
Class Chondrichthyes (cartilaginous fish)
Subclass Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays)
Order Squaliformes (dogfish sharks)
Family Squalidae
Genus Squalus
Species acanthias

DOGFISH SHARK ACTIVITIES
A K-3 level print-out about the spiny dogfish shark.

A first grade addition activity. Solve the 1-digit addition problems, then do letter substitutions to answer a shark question.



Information Sheets About Sharks (and Rays)

Just click on an animal's name to go to that information sheet. If the shark (or ray) you're interested in isn't here, check the Shark Dictionary.

ANGELSHARK

BASKING SHARK

BLACKTIP REEF SHARK

BLUE SHARK

BLUNTNOSE SIXGILL SHARK

BONNETHEAD SHARK

BROADNOSE SEVENGILL SHARK

BULL SHARK

DOGFISH SHARK

GALAPAGOS SHARK

GOBLIN SHARK

GREAT WHITE SHARK

HAMMERHEAD SHARK

LEMON SHARK

MAKO SHARK

MANTA RAY

NURSE SHARK

PORBEAGLE SHARK

SPINED PYGMY SHARK

TIGER SHARK

THRESHER SHARK

WHALE SHARK



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