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Prickly Sharks - Echinorhinus cookei


An obscure benthic species easily ID'd by its rough "prickly" hide which is covered with large irregularly sized and placed placoid scales. A very poorly understood species of shark that essentially nothing is known of. Researchers with Moss Landing Marine Lab has in recent years tagged a few dozen or so prickly sharks but its still too early to draw any clear conclusions about anything other than an apparent seasonal abundance relatively close to shore in marine ravines and channels.
Prickly sharks are built something like 7-gill sharks only they have a paddle like tail and two dorsals. They have been observed by research divers to suspend themselves almost motionlessly just off the bottom of the marine sub-canyon. This hovering behavior is not understood. Prickly sharks are often found in deep dark murky water and may feed on squid and other sharks. Reaching lengths of 12' ft. in length and nearly 1000 lbs can get big but the average observed size was 7'-9' ft.

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