Chordates • Earth.com

Greenland shark

(Somniosus microcephalus)

galery

Description

The Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus),also known as the gurry shark,or grey shark,or by the Kalaallisut name eqalussuaq,is a large shark of the family Somniosidae ("sleeper sharks"),closely related to the Pacific and southern sleeper sharks.The distribution of this species is mostly restricted to the waters of the North Atlantic Ocean and Arctic Ocean.The Greenland shark is one of the largest living species of shark,with dimensions comparable to those of the great white shark.Greenland sharks grow to 6.4 m (21 ft) and 1,000 kg (2,200 lb),and possibly up to 7.3 m (24 ft) and more than 1,400 kg (3,100 lb).Most Greenland sharks observed have been around 2.44–4.8 m (8.0–15.7 ft) long and weigh up to 400 kg (880 lb).Males are typically smaller than females.It rivals the Pacific sleeper shark (possibly up to 7 m or 23 ft long) as the largest species in the family Somniosidae.The Greenland shark is a thickset species with a short,rounded snout,small eyes,and very small dorsal and pectoral fins.The gill openings are very small for the species' great size.Coloration can range from pale creamy-gray to blackish-brown and the body is typically uniform in color,though whitish spots or faint dark streaks are occasionally seen on the back.

Taxonomic tree:

Domain:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum:
Class: Elasmobranchii
Order:Squaliformes
Family:Somniosidae
Genus:Somniosus
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