Atlantic Sharpnose Shark

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Project Description

Atlantic Sharpnose Shark

Rhizoprionodon terraenovae

Range/Geographical Distribution: The Bay of Fundy and the northern Gulf of Mexico to Florida and Honduras.

Habitat: Coastal waters including bays and estuaries and offshore waters during the winter. 

Description: Body is brown or olive/gray above, pale below, and often has white spots.  Dorsal and caudal fins may be edged in black and snout is long. 

Size: Can reach 3.5 feet in length.  At birth, pups are 11-16 inches long.

Food: Preys on small bony fish and invertebrates.

Breeding:  Breeds in late spring then migrates offshore for the winter.  Migrates back to coastal waters to give birth to four to seven pups.  Sharpnose sharks are viviparous.

Predators:  Larger sharks including the tiger shark. 

Conservation Status: Abundant, listed as least concern by the IUCN.

Interesting Facts: Atlantic sharpnose sharks are sold for human consumption and as bait for larger sharks within the United States.  Male and female sharks reach sexual maturity between two and three years of age.

On the Coast: These small sharks are often seen hunting in shallow coastal Georgia waters and are commonly caught by fisherman.

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