Horn Sharks (Heterodontus francisci) are a part of the family Heterodontadae. Horn Sharks can be identified by the spines in front of its two dorsal fins and spots throughout its body. It is commonly thought that they were named HornSsharks because of the spines but the true reason is because the ridges above their eyes appeared devil horned like. Their spines aid them against predators such as Angel Sharks, Elephant Seals and Bald Eagles. Horn Sharks rarely grow beyond 3ft in length and are usually spotted at night on the sandy bottom.

Heterodontus means different teeth because Horn Sharks, unlike most sharks, have flat molar like teeth that are used for crunching hard shelled animals like snails, sea stars, small crabs and some adults will even prey upon Blacksmith. The fact that they feed on bottom dwellers might explain why they are not the most graceful swimmers and prefer to spend most of their days hiding in or under dark places. Horn sharks are also well known because they lay eggs that are uniquely shaped like a screw so that the mom can wedge it between rocks and crevices to help it survive. The juvenile shark will stay inside the egg for up to 10 months before hatching and begin its life.

For more information visit: http://www.elasmo-research.org/education/ecology/kelp-horn_shark.htm

 

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