The Kitefin Shark Family

Dalatiidae, or the Kitefin Shark family, is in interesting little group of sharks. If you're an unsuspecting marine mammal, or another shark, there's one member you'll want to avoid - the Cookiecutter Shark.

This family has 10 species in 7 genera.

  • Pygmy Shark
  • Smalleye Pygmy Shark
  • South China Cookiecutter Shark
  • Spined Pygmy Shark
  • Taillight Shark

These are small to medium-sized sharks who live in deeper water, either in open ocean or on the seabed. They are found more or less worldwide in tropical and temperate seas.

Dalatiidae Characteristics:

  • General Body Shape - They have cigar-shaped bodies with a cone-like snout and a narrow head. The Cookiecutter Shark is also known as the Cigar Shark.
  • Eyes - The eyes are roundish to horizontal and have no lower nictitiating eyelids. They are large in relation to the body, suggesting that these sharks hunt by sight.

  • Teeth - The teeth in the upper jaws are small, narrow, very sharp and spear-like. Those in the bottom jaw are interlocked and are larger, broader and more blade-like. Most species in this family have smooth teeth, with only one, Dalatius lcha (Kitefin Shark), having serrations.

  • Gills - They have five gill slits which are positioned in front of the pectoral fins. Some species in this family have relatively small gills.

  • Fins - Kitefin sharks have two dorsal fins. They may have not fin spines at all, or just one on the first dorsal fin. The second dorsal fin can be either slightly smaller or considerably larger than the first, depending on the species.

    The pectoral fins are short and have free rear tips which are wide and somewhat rounded. In some of thee sharks the pelvic fins are larger than the dorsal fins. The caudal fin has a long upper lobe and a small, or absent lower lobe. They have no anal fin.

Return to World of Sharks from Dalatiidae

Kitefin SHark Ja

Kitefin Shark Jaw

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