The Snaggletooth shark, or Fossil shark (Hemipristis elongata), is a species of Weasel shark in the family Hemigaleidae. 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 427 feet. The Snaggletooth is elusive and rarely seen.
Family: Hemigaleidae – Weasel sharks
Common Name– Ground Sharks
Common Name– Weasel Sharks
Status: IUCN Red List VULNERABLE
Average Size and Length: The Snaggletooth shark grows to a maximum length of 7.9 feet. Typically, they are between 3.6 and 3.9 feet.
Teeth and Jaw: It has large, curved sharp, serrated teeth on the upper jaw and hooked teeth on the bottom jaw that protrude from the mouth.
Head: It has a broadly rounded long snout.
Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Snaggletooth shark 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 427 feet. It can be found near the bottom of the water column of coastal areas but can be found at continental and insular shelves.
Diet: The Snaggletooth shark preys on a variety of marine animals, including bony fish, other sharks, rays, crabs, and cephalopods.
Aesthetic Identification: The Snaggletooth shark is a slender fusiform shape, and its coloration is light grey or bronze with no prominent markings. It has long gill slits. The fins are strongly curved and concave. The tip of the second dorsal fin, and the terminal lobe of the caudal fin sometimes have a dusky blotch, which is more prominent in younger sharks than adults.
Biology and Reproduction: The Snaggletooth shark is viviparous. It is placental, and therefore they even have umbilical cords. Gestation is between 7 and 8 months, and research suggests breeding happens in alternating years. The pups are born between 1.5 and 1.7 feet. Litter size is between 2 and 11 pups, and there is a correlation between litter sizes and the size of the female.
Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Very little is known.
Speed: It is capable of great speeds based on its fusiform design.
Snaggletooth Shark Future and Conservation: It is caught by fishing trawlers 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.
Snaggletooth Shark Recorded Attacks on Humans: Not a threat to humans.