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Angel shark

This strange looking fish seems half way between a shark and a ray. It has a long, flat squat body with extremely large pectoral fins and two very small dorsal fins set way back on the body. The eyes are both set on the top of its body. Usually a yellowy to light brown colour with small white and dark spots all over the body, this species is well-adapted for camouflaging itself on the sea floor. It reaches a maximum length between 183cm and 244cm (6-8ft and 70lbs).
The angel shark feeds on flatfish, and occasionaly on crustaceans and molluscs. It eats them by suction, pouncing on them when they pass in front of its mouth.

The angel shark is now very rare, and considered Critically Endangered by the IUCN, but even when it was more plentiful it was a very unknown species of shark. Its distribution originally ranged from Scandinavia to Northwest Africa (Mauritania and the Canary Islands), including the Mediterranean and Black seas. However, the current distribution has been severaly reduced as a result of severe population depletion, mainly due to incidetnal fishing by trawling. Currently it is thought that almost all of the remaining population is found around the Canary Islands, although the species can occasionally be sighted in the Adratic sea, around the Western shores of UK, Ireland, and Northern Africa.

Catch a glimpse

Angel shark