The Piked Dogfish (Squalus acanthias) is a small marine (saltwater) cartilaginous fish in the Squalidae family of dogfish sharks. It is also called the Spiny Dogfish, Spurdog, or Mud Shark.
The Piked Dogfish is a greyish-brown shark with white spots on its back. It has two spines on its dorsal (back) fins.
It grows to 80-100 centimetres (31-39 inches).
It is found in most oceans around the world, especially in temperate waters. It prefers shallow water.
In defence, the Piked Dogfish can arch its back and pierce its predator with its spines near the dorsal fins. The spines are mildly venomous (poisonous).
It hunts in packs. A pack can be up to thousands of individuals. It eats squid, fish, crabs, jellyfish, sea cucumbers, and shrimp. It lives and feeds on the bottom of the ocean.
The female Piked Dogfish has eggs that hatch inside her body. The young are born live after 22-24 months. She has 2-11 young.
The Piked Dogfish lives, on average, for 35-55 years.
Location of photographs: Tbilisi Museum of Natural History, Georgia
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM