Gulper Shark

Gulper SharkThe gulper shark (Centophorus granulosus) is a slim, relatively long dogfish with two dorsal fins bearing long grooved spines. The color of the gulper shark is olive-grey to grey-brown or sandy grey to brown dorsally and lighter ventrally with no obvious markings in adults; juveniles may be lighter and may have dusky tips on the dorsal and caudal fins. The maximum total length recorded for the gulper shark is 5 ft (150 cm). Gulper shark pups average from 1 ft - 1.4 ft (30-42 cm) total length at birth. Precise details of the size, age, and growth, such as size at maturity for the gulper shark, are currently unknown.

Teeth of both jaws are "blade-like" and form interconnecting cutting edges. The teeth of the upper jaw are moderately broad with cusps varying from upright to oblique. The teeth of the lower jaw are broader than that of those on the upper jaw and they have a oblique asymmetrical cusp. The number of tooth rows vary from 33-40 tooth rows on the upper jaw to 30 rows on the low jaw.

The diet of the gulper shark has not been fully described, but the gulper shark is thought to feed on species of hake perhaps in the family Macruronidae and lanternfish perhaps in the family Myctophidae.

The gulper shark is a bathydemersal, living and feeding at depths exceeding 656 ft (200m), marine, deep-water dogfish most commonly found between 328 ft and 3937 ft (100 -1,200 meters). The gulper shark is commonly observed along the outer continental shelves and upper slopes, usually on or near the bottom substrate.

The gulper shark occurs globally in tropical to temperate marine waters. The gulper shark has been noted in the eastern and western north Atlantic; common in Portugal, Senegal, the Ivory Coast and Nigeria to France and along the coast of North America around North Carolina and the Gulf of Mexico. The gulper shark has also been observed in the western Indian Ocean in locations such as South Africa, the Morambique Channel and Madagascar. Gulper sharks have also been seen in the western Pacific near the Taiwan Island. It is, however, apparently rare outside of these observed regions.