A fuzzy-feeling catshark

The Deepwater catshark (Apristurus profundorum) is a shark belonging to the family Scyliorhinidae, found in the northwestern Atlantic from Delaware Bay to Suriname, and possibly in the eastern Atlantic from Morocco to northwest Africa. Not much is known about this shark.


Family: Scyliorhinidae – Catsharks

Genus: Apristurus 

Species: profundorum


Phylum– Chordata

Class– Chondrichthyles


Common NameGround Sharks

Family– Scyliorhinidae

Common NameCatsharks




Average Size and Length: The length of the Deepwater catshark is mostly unknown. Adolescent sharks have been measured at 51 cm/1.7 feet.

Teeth and Jaw: The mouth is long and large. There are enlarged dental bands and long labial furrow. The uppers reach the upper symphysis and the lowers are about the same length.

Head: The snout is thick and flattened. The nostrils are elongated with narrow apertures. The mouth is expanded in front of the eyes. The eyes are small, and cat-like in appearance.

Denticles: The Deepwater catshark has dermal denticles that are erect, giving its skin a fuzzy texture. The caudal fin has a crest of enlarged dermal denticles.

Tail: The tail fin is elongated.

Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Deepwater catshark can be found in the north Atlantic (possibly west and east) (67°N – 6°N, 76°W – 2°E). They have been found in Delaware Bay to Suriname and possibly Morocco to northwest Africa. There is a record in the Indian Ocean, but this is questionable and probably a misidentification. They can be found over the continental slope around 4,921 feet possibly 6,004 feet. They are considered bathydemersal.

Aesthetic Identification: The Deepwater catshark has a slender body. It is brownish in color. The gill slits are large. They are slightly smaller than the adult eye length. The fins are high and rounded. The two dorsal fins are equal in size. The first dorsal fin originates over the pelvic midbases. The interdorsal space is slightly greater than the first dorsal base. The anal fin is large, round and elongated. It is separated from the tail fin by a small notch.

Biology and Reproduction: Unknown, but possibly oviparous.

Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Unknown.

Deepwater Catshark Future and Conservation: They are not evaluated.

Deepwater Catshark Recorded Attacks on Humans: Not a threat to humans.