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Dogfish sharks
Temporal range: Upper Cretaceous–Recent
Squalus acanthias.jpg
Spiny dogfish, Squalus acanthias
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Subclass: Elasmobranchii
Superorder: Selachimorpha
Order: Squaliformes
Family: Squalidae

Squalidae, also called dogfish sharks or sometimes spiny dogfishes,[2] are a family of sharks in the order Squaliformes. They have two dorsal fins, each with smooth spines, but no anal fin and their skin is generally rough to the touch.[1] Unlike virtually all other shark species, dogfish sharks possess venom which coats their dorsal spines – this venom is mildly toxic to humans.

These sharks are characterized by teeth in upper and lower jaws similar in size; caudal peduncle with lateral keels; upper precaudal pit usually present; and a caudal fin without subterminal notch.

They are carnivores and they prey upon organisms smaller than themselves.

The livers and stomachs of the Squalidae contain the compound squalamine, which possesses the property of reduction of small blood vessel growth in humans.[3]


  1. ^ a b Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2009). "Squalidae" in FishBase. January 2009 version.
  2. ^ "Squalidae". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 16 November 2013. 
  3. ^ National Geographic June 1998