Facts about viper dogfish

17 viper dogfish facts

Viper shark

The viper dogfish is one of the rarest species of dogfish. All knowledge possessed by scientists comes from observing specimens in Japan, and thus there is no certain information regarding their average lifespan, mating rituals, or weight range. However, viper dogfish resembles creatures from sci-fi novels, and thus fascinates naturalists around the world.

Viper dogfish
It is a species of dogfish shark.
The Squaliformes include 126 species.
It belongs to the genus Trigonognathus in the family Etmopteridae.
The viper dogfish is the only extant species of the genus.
It was discovered in 1986 on the southern coast of Japan.
Viper dogfish can be found in the Pacific in Japan, Taiwan, and Hawaii at the depth of 300 to 400 meters.
Scientists estimate that the genus Trigonognathus originates in the Middle Eocene, some 41 million years ago.
Females are larger than males and measure up to 54 centimeters.
Males typically reach a length of 47 centimeters.
It has a slender, black body, with a blunt snout at the end of a somewhat flattened head.
Its most recognizable trait is the triangular jaw, filled with fang-like teeth.
Its skin is covered in nonoverlapping dermal denticles.
The viper shark has two dorsal fins with sharp spikes.
The viper dogfish feeds primarily on bony fish, which it impales on the fang-like teeth.
It eats its prey whole, much like the snake.
To catch their prey, viper dogfish extend their jaws.
There are some who claim the process reminds them of xenomorphs. However, since the first individual of the viper shark was spotted in 1986, it is unlikely that Hans Rudolf Giger–the designer of the Alien creature–drew inspiration from the viper dogfish, as the first movie aired in 1979.
Viper sharks fell prey to Bigeye tuna and the Sickle pomfret.
It is ovoviviparous.
It gives birth to up to 26 pups per litter.
The gestation period is estimated at 1.5 to 2 years.
They are bioluminescent.
They possess many photophores on both their bodies and undersides.
It is listed as the least concern on the IUCN Red List.
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