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Threat Level: low
Scientific name.........Galeorhinus Galeus
Other common names.............School shark, Tope shark
The Soupfin shark is a moderately slender long-nosed hound shark, without obvious anterior nasal flaps or sub ocular ridges. Large arched mouth. Second dorsal fin much smaller than the first and about as large as the anal fin. Extremely long terminal caudal lobe ( half the dorsal caudal margin ).
These sharks can reach a maximum length of 6.6 feet. Males mature at ( 3.9 to 5.6 feet ) and females mature at ( 4.3 to 6.1 feet ). Pups measure ( 12 to 14 inches ).
They have small blade-like teeth.
Soupfin sharks have a bronzy gray color on the upper side and pale underneath. The young have black markings on their fins.
It feeds mainly on fish, squid, and octopus near the seabed or in the water column.
Soupfin sharks are active, strong, long distance swimmers, occurring in small schools, partly segregated by size and sex, which are seasonally highly migratory in higher latitudes. This species migrates long distances so pregnant females can give birth in cooler water.
Widespread: west coast of North America, east coast of South America, northeast Atlantic, South Africa, southern Australia, New Zealand. They are most abundant in cold to warm temperate continental seas, from the surf line and very shallow water to well offshore ( not oceanic ), often near the bottom ( 6.5 to 1,554.2 feet ).
These sharks are ovoviviparous, no yolk-sac placenta. Litter size varies, increasing with the size of the mother they can give birth from 6 to 52 pups per litter. After a gestation of 12 months, the pups are born 12 to 14 inches in length. Female sharks reach maturity at 8 to 10 years and breed only every second or third year.
The soupfin shark is a shy species and encounters are unlikely. It will flee long before a diver arrives in its vicinity.
Vulnerable. They are fished all over the world for their meat, liver oil and fins. Large numbers of new born pups are sometimes caught inshore by anglers. Due to their low reproductive rate, combined with the soupfin's longevity, has made it vulnerable to overfishing for its meat, fins, and liver oil.
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