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Dogfish sharks
Temporal range: Upper Cretaceous–Recent
Squalus acanthias.jpg
Spiny dogfish, Squalus acanthias
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Order: Squaliformes
Family: Squalidae
Bonaparte, 1834

The Squalidae, also called dogfish sharks or 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; a caudal peduncle with lateral keels; the upper precaudal pit usually is present; and the caudal fin is without a subterminal notch.

They are carnivorous, principally preying 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]

Two genera are known: Squalus, which contains numerous species, and Cirrhigaleus, which has three species.


  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

Further reading[edit]