Echinorhinus brucus (Bonnaterre, 1788)
Bramble shark
photo by Khan, M.M.

Family:  Echinorhinidae (Bramble sharks)
Max. size:  310 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  bathydemersal; depth range 10 - 900 m
Distribution:  Western Atlantic: Virginia, Massachusetts, USA; Venezuela, Argentina. Eastern Atlantic: North Sea to Mediterranean, Morocco to Cape of Good Hope, South Africa. Indian Ocean: India, Mozambique, South Africa. Western Pacific: Japan, southern Australia, New Zealand. Records from Oman and Kiribati uncertain. Apparently absent in the Eastern Pacific (Ref. 6578).
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 0-0; Anal spines: 0-0; Anal soft rays: 0-0. The bramble shark Echinorhinus brucus has thorn-like denticles on body which are very large (single denticles up to about 15mm in basal diameter in adults), sparse irregularly distributed and thorn-like with smooth basal margins, some bases fused into compound plates. Dorsal surface dark purplish-grey to brown with white denticles, ventral surface paler; sides and back may have dark spots. Tooth count 20-26/21-26.As with the other member of the family Echinorhinidae, it has a relatively short snout and stout body; two small spineless dorsal fins, close together, towards posterior part of body and originating behind pelvic fin origin. No anal fin and subterminal notch on caudal fin. Small spiracles, very short labial furrows and teeth on both jaws alike, with a central oblique bladelike cusps with up to 3 cusplets on each side (absent in juveniles) (Ref. 247, 6871, 5578).
Biology:  A rare (Ref. 26346), large, sluggish, deepwater shark found on continental and insular shelves and upper slopes (Ref. 247). Sometimes found in shallow water (Ref. 247). Feeds on smaller sharks, bony fishes, and crabs (Ref. 247). Ovoviviparous (Ref. 205), with 15-26 young in a litter (26346). Never recorded as attacking people. Sometimes hooked by shore anglers (Ref. 5578). Processed into fishmeal. May be used in traditional medicine in southern Africa (Ref. 5578).
IUCN Red List Status: Data deficient (DD); Date assessed: 30 April 2003 Ref. (119314)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   
 

Entered by: Carpenter, Kent E. - 15.06.92
Modified by: Luna, Susan M. - 06.01.05
Checked by: Garilao, Cristina V. - 20.11.95

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