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Angel Shark (Squatina californica)


Angel Shark Fact Sheet

Appearance
The Angelsharks are flat-bodied sharks, very ray-like. They bury themselves in the sand or mud with only the eyes and part of the top of the body exposed. They have a blunt snout and are camouflaged to blend into the sand and rocks of the ocean bed. They have long, wide fins that look like wings, giving it its name. It is also known as the monk shark, sand devil, and monkfish. Angelsharks are frequently caught for food.

TEETH
Angelsharks have small, sharp teeth in trap-like jaws.

SIZE
The various species of Angelsharks range in size up to 6.5 feet (2 m) long. The Pacific Angelshark is up to 5 feet (1.5 m) long.

DIET AND FEEDING HABITS
Angelsharks eat fish, crustaceans, and mollusks. They spend the day hidden in the sand and rocks of the ocean bed. As fish swim by, the angelshark bursts up and surprises the prey, catching it in its trap-like jaws.

HABITAT
Angelsharks are bottom dwellers that live on ocean floors of depths from 10 to 4,300 feet (3 to 1300 m). They live in warm temperate oceans in the southern hemisphere.

DISTRIBUTION
Pacific angelsharks are found in the eastern Pacific Ocean , from southern Alaska, USA to Baja, CA, USA and from Ecuador to southern Chile.

RREPRODUCTION
Angelsharks reproduce via aplacental viviparity with litters of 8-13 live-born pups. In aplacental viviparity, the eggs hatch and the babies develop inside the female's body but there is no placenta to nourish the pups.

SPEED
Angelsharks are not extremely fast swimmers. Their prey is even slower.

ANGELSHARK CLASSIFICATION
Kingdom Animalia (animals)
Phylum Chordata
Subphylum Vertebrata (vertebrates)
Class Chondrichthyes (cartilaginous fish)
Subclass Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays)
Family Squatinidae
Order Squatiniformes
Genus Squatina
Species

Endangerment:
Not endangered