Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 5:20 EDT

Horn Shark, Heterodontus francisci

The Horn Shark (Heterodontus francisci) is a species of bullhead shark that ranges from central California to the Gulf of California, Mexico, and possibly Ecuador and Peru. Its habitat includes rocky reefs, kelp beds, sand flats, crevices, and caverns at depths from 7 to 490 feet. It is mostly nocturnal and is rather sluggish in the daytime.

The adult can reach a length of 4 feet and weigh about 22 pounds. It is brown with black spots. If harassed it may bite. It has poisonous spines on its back. It is oviparous and lays 5 inch long kelp-colored eggs that may float up onto beach shores. It feeds on invertebrates, primarily sea urchins, crabs, probably abalone, and fish.

Image Caption: Horn Shark off Santa Catalina, California. Credit: Ed Bierman/Wikipedia (CC BY 2.0)

Horn Shark Heterodontus francisci