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Author: (Bonnaterre, 1788)

Hexanchus griseus (Bonnaterre, 1788)

Diagnosis: moderately slender (juvenile) to stout (adult), head broad, snout relatively short and blunt. Upper jaw with 4 rows of front teeth, in line with lateral teeth, lower jaw with 6 rows of lateral teeth. Gill-slits 6. Spineless dorsal fin rather far back, mostly above anal fin base, pectoral fins with almost straight posterior margin; lower caudal lobe moderately developed. Colour: dark brown to greyish, belly lighter. Size: to about 5 m TL.

Habitat: usually deeper and cooler waters (100-2,000 m), close to bottom, possibly rising to surface at night, more epipelagic at higher latitudes; rarely in shallow inshore waters. Reported as sluggish, although voracious, but probably not aggressive to man. Food: fishes (hake) and crustaceans; harmful to fisheries. Reproduction: ovoviviparous, litters of about 20-50, possibly even 100 embryos; 60-70 cm at birth; apparently in about October or November to May in eastern Atlantic, but information scarce.

Distribution: Atlantic coasts northward to southern Norway and to Iceland (rare); more common in Mediterranean, not recorded from Baltic or Black Sea. Elsewhere, south to Mauritania; probably worldwide in temperate or subtropical seas, but apparently avoiding the tropics.

Complementary iconography. Ehrenbaum, 1930, fig. 1-3.
Eggs, larvae and young stages. Bigelow & Schroeder, 1948: 83 | Springer & Waller, 1969: 173.

Bluntnose six-gill shark (Hexanchus griseus)