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Bluntnose Sixgill Shark
Bluntnose Sixgill Shark

Class

Fish

Species

Shark

 

The Bluntnose Sixgill Shark is often simply called the cow shark, is the largest hexanchoid shark, growing to more than 5.4 m (18 ft) in length.

Description Edit

Skin color ranges from tan to brown, or as dark as black. It has a light colored lateral line down the sides and on the fins' edges. There are darker colored spots on the sides. The general body shape is a heavy, powerful body with a broad head with small eyes. The pupils are black and the eye color is a fluorescentblue green. As an adult the bluntnose sixgill shark can grow to a massive size. True body length is determined by the gender of the individual. Males generally average between 309 and 330 cm. Females tend to be larger, averaging between 350 and 420 cm. This shark can attain a length of up to 550 cm. The bluntnose sixgill shark resembles many of the fossil sharks from the Triassic period. This could be because there are a greater number of Hexicanus relatives in the fossil record than there are left alive today. They have one dorsal fin located near the caudal fin. The pectoral fins are broad with rounded edges. There are six gill slits which gives the shark its name. Most common sharks today have only 5 gill slits.

Habitat Edit

This species typically inhabits depths greater than 90 m (300 ft), and has been recorded as deep as 1,875 m (6,150 ft). Like many deep-sea creatures, the bluntnose sixgill shark is known to undertake nightly vertical migrations (travelling surfaceward at night, returning to the depths before dawn) . The bluntnose sixgill shark can be seen at depths of 30 m (100 ft) and shallower during parts of the year in some specific places e.g. Flora Islet, near Hornby Island, Sightings during shallow evening dives in Whytecliff Park West Vancouver in British Columbia, in Puget Sound, Monterey Canyon off Monterey, California and in fjords in Norway. The sharks are deep-sea sharks, but like most fish that prefer the deep, they come to the shallower depths to feed.

== Food ==

Although sluggish in nature, the bluntnose sixgill shark is capable of attaining high speeds for chasing and catching its prey. Because of the bluntnose sixgill shark's large and diverse range they have a wide variety of prey items. Their diet consists of a variety of mollusks, crustaceans, and Agnathans and sea lampreys. They also dine on Cape anchovies, Pacific salmon, various species of hake. There are also many more species that are eaten depending upon the shark's home range. In BBC's The Blue Planet, this shark was filmed eating a dead tuna. Despite its size, the shark is not known to have eaten any humans.

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