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Author: (Bonnaterre, 1788)

Heptranchias perlo (Bonnaterre, 1788)

Diagnosis: slender, with narrow head and relatively long and pointed snout. Teeth with the large anterior cusp preceded by a few smaller ones. Gill-slits 7. Spineless dorsal fin quite far back, with base before that of anal fin; pectoral fins with concave posterior margin; caudal fin with moderate lower lobe. Colour: brown/grey with lighter belly, occasionally with blotches on flanks. Size: males to I m, females to 1.4 m TL.

Habitat: usually benthic (50-400 m, occasionally to 800 m), often near edge of shelf, in warmer waters. Claimed to be a voracious bottom dweller. Food: probably mainly fish (hake) and squid, also perhaps crustaceans. Reproduction: ovoviviparous, litters of about 9-20; about 26 cm at birth.

Distribution: Atlantic coasts north to beyond Bay of Biscay (rare), less rare in Mediterranean, but not in Black Sea. Elsewhere, probably world-wide in tropical and subtropical waters, but nowhere common.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Lo Bianco, 1888: 428; 1899: 542; 1909: 672 Bigelow & Schroeder, 1948: 91, fig. 110.

Sharpnose seven-gill shark (Heptranchias perlo)