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Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 10:33 EDT

Prickly dogfish

The Prickly dogfish, Oxynotus bruniensis, is a sleeper shark of the family Dalatiidae, found off southern Australia, and New Zealand, on the continental shelf at depths of between 147.64 and 3280.84 ft (45 and 1,000 m). It reaches a length of 23.62 in (60 cm).

The prickly dogfish has two very high dorsal fins set on raised fleshy bases. The upper lobe of the caudal fin is also thick and fleshy. There are very prominent dermal denticles that give this fish its common name. The mouth has thick spongy lips and covers six rows of pointed teeth in the upper jaw, the front row being the smallest, and a single row of blade-like lower teeth.

Its coloration is a uniform dark brown.

The Prickly dogfish is ovoviviparous.

It feeds mainly on fish and bottom invertebrates. It is often taken in trawl nets but is not usually used.

Illustration by Dr Tony Ayling

Prickly dogfish