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From the Shore to the Deep Blue Sea

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Gray Smoothhound
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Shark School

Gray Smoothhound
(Mustelus californicus)

Gray Smoothound Shark.  Copyright 1998 Mark Conlin.

The gray smoothhound lives in coastal waters, especially on shallow sandy bottoms and muddy bays. It reaches a maximum length of four feet and is very slender. The gray smoothhound is gray with mixtures of blue and brown in different places on its body.

This shark feeds on benthic (bottom-dwelling) prey such as worms, clams, crabs, shrimp, octopuses, and small fish. It has short, blunt teeth and small grinding plates that are well-adapted to feeding on shellfish.

The gray smoothhound is viviparous, which means it gives birth to live young, usually during spring. This shark is not considered dangerous to people, though any animal will bite if bothered. The gray smoothhound is also known as dogfish, paloma, sand shark, or gray shark.

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Photograph © Mark Conlin

Shark School | Kids' Habitat

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