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TYPES OF SHARKS
SHARK CHAT FORUM
Threat Level: low
The California Hornshark is also
known as Horn Shark.
- CALIFORNIA HORNSHARK
Scientific Name.... Heterodontus Francisci
Family Name...... Hornshark
- General Information: The California hornshark
is one of the nine living species of the family known as bullhead,
horn, or Port Jackson sharks, and are named for the spine in front
of each dorsal fin. The sharks of this family are unmistakable,
with their blunt foreheads, pig-like snouts and broad eye ridges.
- Size: The maximum length reported was 4 feet,
but generally most adults are less than 3 feet.
- Teeth: Their scientific name Heterodontus means
"mixed-tooth", which refers to the small pointed teeth
at the front of the jaw and the blunt teeth at the rear. Unlike
most sharks that have only pointy cutting teeth.
- Color: California hornsharks have small dark
spots on tan or gray body and fins.
- Feeding Habits: Having molariform teeth, the
california hornshark can grab soft-bodied fish and crustaceans,
and crush sea urchins and shellfish that they prefer.
- Social Behaviour: They are nocturnal. Hides
in crevices or caves during the day and venturing out to feed
- Habitat | Migration | Distribution: They range
from Central California, USA, to the Gulf of California. This
species prefer to live in cool to shallow waters, resting among
large rocks, kelp beds and at the base of boulders.
- Reproduction: The hornshark is oviparous, a
reproductive mode whereby embryos mature in egg cases external
to the mother. Egg cases, sometimes called mermaids pursues, are
spiral in shape, much like a corkscrew, and this shark may be
the only species to exhibit any form of parental care in that
the mother will carry the egg case in her mouth and screw it under
rocks and into crevices presumably for protection from egg predators. These
egg cases each contain a single embryo and hatch after 6 to
- Swimming: They may swim freely , but is usually
seen sluggish moving along the bottom on its muscular pectoral
fins. Sitting placidly on the bottom, they defy the commonly held
belief that all sharks must swim in order to be able to breathe.
- Population Report: Not uncommon.