Gray Smoothhound Shark
- Small, slender shark.
- Pointed snout and large oval eyes.
- Asymmetrical tail fin (bigger on top than on bottom).
- Brownish gray coloration on top, lighter bellies.
- Noticeable spiracle (breathing hole) behind each eye.
- Adult males grow to about 48 inches, females have been measured at 64 inches long.
- Found from northern California to Baja California, Mexico.
- Found in Gulf of California.
- Live in coastal waters, like bays and rocky shores.
- Live at depths of 6-150 feet.
- Adult females become reproductively mature at 29 inches, males at 24 inches.
- Spawning most likely takes place in waters off of northern California.
- Gestation takes 10-11 months and females give birth to live young.
- Litters are between 2-5 pups, with an average length of 8-12 inches.
- Eat ghost shrimp, innkeeper worms, small fish like midshipmen and herring, shore crabs, and rock crabs.
- They have blunt teeth to help them bite through their hard, shelled prey.
- Smoothhound sharks’ predators are larger sharks, including the sevengill shark.
- Gray smoothhound sharks often school with leopard sharks.
- This small shark is considered harmless to humans.
Sources: Florida Museum; Espinoza et al. 2011
Photo: Andy Murch
Come see a smoothhound shark in person at Birch Aquarium’s Shark Shores or at Living Coast Discovery Center!