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 Tope shark (Galeorhinus galeus)

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Tope shark
 Range Map

Earth Map


Phylum: Vertebates (Chordata)

Class: Carlilagenous Fishes (Chondrichthyes)
  Order: Ground sharks (Carcharhiniformes)
    Family: Houndsharks (Triakidae)
      Genus: Galeorhinus (Galeorhinus)


Scientific: Galeorhinus galeus
Synonyms: Galeorhinus zyopterus
German: Hundshai
English: Tope shark, Soupfin shark, School shark
French: Requin-ha
Spanish: Cazon


A slender houndshark with a long snout. Large horizontally oval shaped eyes. Origin of the first dorsal fin is over or slightly behind the free rear ends of the pectoral fins. Second dorsal fin is much smaller than first one and is of similar height as the anal fin that is opposite to it.


Bronze to grey-brown upper body, whitish pale ventral surface.


Western Atlantic: southern Brazil to Argentina. Eastern Atlantic: Iceland, Faroe Islands and Great Britain. Mediterranean. Senegal and other areas of the western coast of Africa, except South Africa, are questionable. Western Pacific: Australia, New Zealand. Central Pacific: Laysan Islands. Eastern Pacific: British Columbia to southern Baja California, Peru and Chile.


An active and fast swimming species of coastal waters. Sometimes found in pelagic waters but not oceanic. Prefers depths from the surface down to about 470 m. Often found in small schools that are highly migratory. Males and females live segregated except during mating season. Juveniles are born in shallow water. This species is sometimes called the "Soupfin shark".


Primarily fishes. They are very opportunistic and feed on bottom-living species and pelagic ones (such as herrings, sardines and others). Other prey items are crabs and invertebrates in general.


Average size between 120 cm to 140 cm, maximum total length about 195 cm.


Aplacental viviparous (ovoviviparous). 6 to 52 pups per litter, mostly between 20 to 35. Size at birth between 30 cm and 40 cm. Males reach sexual maturity at an age of 8 years and a size between 120 cm and 170 cm, females at 11 years and 130 cm to 185 cm. It is estimated that this species can reach an age of at least 55 years.

 Similar Species



Status in the IUCN Red List(1994):

Main criterion: > VU (Vulnerable)
Sub criterion: A1bd
Trend: Declining

 Danger to Humans


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