Meet a gorgeous shark, the six-gill shark. This is a deep-water shark and as you can guess from the name, it has six gill slits. Those are the openings the water goes out after it passes over the gills. Most other sharks have 5 gill slits. A couple have 7.
The six-gill shark’s relatives date back over 200 million years. It has a heavy and powerful body with a round blunt snout. A six-gill shark’s color ranges from tan, brown, gray and even to black. Six-gills grow up to 18 feet (5.5 meters) long. That’s longer than a utility vehicle. Female six-gill sharks are larger then the males.
Another way six-gill sharks differ from other sharks is that its dorsal fin. It only has one (which isn’t unusual) but the one dorsal fin is located further back near the tail. Other dorsal fin of other sharks is usually near the center of their body (on their backs, of course).
Like the prickly shark, the six-gill might appear slow and sluggish when caught on film by an ROV or the very cool “Eye-in-the-Sea” camera. But hey, how would we look sitting on the couch texting friends or binge watching your favorite show? In between meals, a six-gill doesn’t waste energy zooming around the sea. When hunting, though, six-gills burst into action. They ambush prey from a close range. Six-gills eat small fishes, snails, crabs, shrimp, and squid.
Because of its deep-sea lifestyle, little is know about its reproductive behavior or other behaviors.
Six-gill sharks are threatened due to being overfished and caught in nets set for other species.
See you next time,