Snaggletooth shark

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Snaggletooth shark
Hemipristis elongata csiro-nfc.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Order: Carcharhiniformes
Family: Hemigaleidae
Genus: Hemipristis
H. elongata
Binomial name
Hemipristis elongata
(Klunzinger, 1871)
Hemipristis elongatus distmap.png
Range of the snaggletooth shark

The snaggletooth shark, or fossil shark (Hemipristis elongata), is a species of weasel shark in the family Hemigaleidae, and the only extant member of the genus Hemipristis. It is found in the Indo-West Pacific, including the Red Sea, from southeast Africa to the Philippines, north to China, and south to Australia, at depths from 1 to 130 metres. This shark can be found near the bottom of the water column of coastal areas, but can be found at continental and insular shelves.[1] Its length is up to 240 cm (7.87 ft) .[2] Despite being only vulnerable to extinction, this shark is very rarely seen.



The snaggletooth's coloration is light grey or bronze with no prominent markings. As its name suggests, it has sharp, serrated teeth on the upper jaw and hooked teeth on the bottom jaw. The shape of its body is fusiform, allowing it greater speed in the water.[3]

Reproduction is a special kind of viviparity, called placental viviparity, where the shark carries its live young in a placenta-like structure, complete with umbilical cord. The structure is derived from the wall of the embryonic yolk sac that has fused with the uterine wall.[4]


The snaggletooth shark preys on a variety of different animals, including bony fish, other sharks, rays, crabs, and cephalopods.[5][3][6]

Commercial uses[edit]

This shark is usually caught by fishing trawlers (a type of fishing boat), or by gill nets. Fins are used in the shark fin soup trade in China and other Asian countries. The meat is sold for consumption, the liver is used as a source for vitamins and the rest of the carcass is processed into fish meal.[2]


  1. ^ "Hemipristis elongatus (Klunzinger, 1871) Snaggletooth shark". Fishbase. Retrieved 9 November 2011.
  2. ^ a b Katkar, B.N. and C. J. Josekutty (2003). "Snaggletooth shark, Hemipristis elongata landed at Sassoon Dock, Mumbai" (PDF). Mar. Fish. Infor. Serv. 176: 12.
  3. ^ a b Manojkumar, P.P and P.P. Pavithran. (2004). "First record of snaggletooth shark, Hemipristis elongata (Klumzinger, 1871) from Malabar Coast" (PDF). Mar. Fish. Infor. Serv. 180: 13–14.
  4. ^ Cech, Moyle, Joseph J. Jr., Peter B (2004). Fishes: An Introduction to Ichthyology. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall. p. 15. ISBN 0-13-100847-1.
  5. ^ "Hemipristis elongatus (Klunzinger, 1871) Snaggletooth shark". Fishbase. Retrieved 9 November 2011.
  6. ^ Chandrasekar, S. and P. Devadoss (1991). "A note on the rare snaggle tooth shark, Hemipristis elongata" (PDF). Mar. Fish. Infor. Serv. 114: 36.