Hemigaleidae (weasel sharks)

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Chondrichthyes > Elasmobranchii > Galeomorphii > Carcharhiniformes

Small to moderate sized sharks with horizontal oval eyes, small spiracles, long labial furrows, precaudal pits, spiral intestinal valves, and large 2nd dorsal fins. All are placental live-bearers. 6 species, 3 in the area.

Families in southern Africa

Hemipristis elongatus (Snaggletooth shark)

A slender light grey or bronzy shark with a broadly rounded long snout, large curved saw-edged upper teeth, hooked lower teeth that protrude from its mouth, long gill slits, strongly curved fins, and no prominent markings.

Paragaleus leucolomatus (Whitefin weasel shark)

A slender dark grey shark with a long snout, large oval eyes, moderately long mouth with small serrated upper teeth, erect-cusped lower teeth, and prominent white tips on most of its fins. Underside white, 2nd dorsal black-tipped.

Paragaleus pectoralis (Atlantic weasel shark)

A slender shark with a moderately long snout, large oval eyes, short small mouth, small serrated upper teeth, erect-cusped lower teeth, and plain fins. Colour light grey or bronze with longitudinal yellow bands, white below.

Text by Leonard J.V. Compagno, David A. Ebert and Malcolm J. Smale 


  Iziko Museums of Cape Town, 2008

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