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 Atlantic sharpnose shark (Rhizoprionodon terraenovae)

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Atlantic sharpnose shark
 Range Map

Earth Map


Phylum: Vertebates (Chordata)

Class: Carlilagenous Fishes (Chondrichthyes)
  Order: Ground sharks (Carcharhiniformes)
    Family: Requiem sharks (Carcharhinidae)
      Genus: Rhizoprionodon (Rhizoprionodon)


Scientific: Rhizoprionodon terraenovae
German: Atlantischer Scharfnasenhai
English: Atlantic sharpnose shark
French: Requin aiguille gussi
Spanish: Cazon picudo atlantico


Small shark. Long, parabolic snout, with long upper furrows. Nostrils are far apart. Big eyes. Origin of first dorsal fin before or slightly before the free rear ends of the pectoral fins. Origin of second dorsal fin above midbase of anal fin or just in front of its insertion. No spiracles.


Grey to grey-brown with white ventral surface. Adults have small light (white) dots on body, white margins on pectoral fins and and dusky dorsal fin tips.


Western North Atlantic: New Brunswick to Florida, Bahamas and Gulf of Mexico.


Abundant. Lives over continental shelf, mainly in shallow water (less than 10 m) but has been found down to 280 m. Tolerant to different salinities, and can be found in estuaries and river mouths. During winter months they migrate into deeper waters. Sharpnose sharks can form big schools of same sex and size.


Small fishes, crustaceans and molluscs.


Average size between 80 cm to 100 cm, maximum total length about 120 cm.


Gives birth to live young (viviparous, with yolksac-placenta). Normally 4 to 6 pups per litter, although can vary from 1 to 7. Pups are born in unprotected nursery grounds. Fast growth, reaching maturity after 3 to 4 years with a size of 65 cm to 80 cm (males) and 85 cm to 90 cm (females). No interruption in female reproduction cycles.

 Similar Species

Caribbean sharpnose shark , it is not easy to distinguish between the two since the only clear taxonomic difference is that the Atlantic sharknose shark possesses 58 to 66 vertebrae (normally less than 66), compared to at least 66 (normally 66 to 75) vertebrae of the Caribbean sharpnose shark.


Status in the IUCN Red List:

No Entry found in Red List.

 Danger to Humans


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