When it comes to interesting-looking aquatic creatures, the spiny dogfish is definitely among the most unique. They actually have venom in their spine, so be careful. The spiny dogfish might be small, but it is known to be one of the fiercest predators in the ocean.
- Spiny dogfish are relatively small sharks, weighing just 22 pounds when fully grown.
- Females are bigger than males and reach 49 inches long. Males grow to 39 inches.
- Spiny dogfish that reside in the Pacific waters can live for more than 80 years. However, life is shorter in the Atlantic ocean. Sharks here can only expect to live between 35 and 40 years.
- Although they can live near the surface, it is not uncommon to find a spiny dogfish more than 3,000 feet underwater.
- Spiny dogfish get their name because they love to hunt in packs, similar to dogs.
- Female spiny dogfish will not reach sexual maturity until they are 35 years old.
- Male spiny dogfish actually reach their maturity at age 19.
- Female spiny dogfish actually have one of the longest gestation periods of any vertebrate. Their gestation period lasts from 18 to 24 months.
- Newborn spiny dogfish are able to hunt right out of the womb.
- You have to be careful around a spiny dogfish because they have sharp spines that contain venom on both of their dorsal fins in the front of their body.
- Their biggest threat is commercial fishing. Dogfish are often used for fish and chips in England.
- In 2021, commercial landings totaled 11 million pounds and valued at over $2 million