In any case, the last shark blog for 2015 introduces you to the brown smooth-hound (Mustelus henlei). They have a variety of common names, however, including “mud shark,” “dogfish,” “paloma,” “sand shark,” and “Henle's shark.”
A slender and rather flattened shark, they are indeed brown (but you can call them “bronze” for fancy points), and silver-colored below. Their teeth are blunt to crush their prey, which comprises of crabs, shrimp, isopods, squid, polychaete worms and tunicates. They also feed on small teleost fish, but this is more once the shark becomes a mature adult (a more sophisticated palette, clearly).
These sharks, as well as other smoot-hounds, are commonly mistaken with the soupfin shark. However, soupfin sharks have their second dorsal fin beginning behind their anal fin.
They are a small shark, with the largest shark being not much bigger than 0.9 m (3 ft). They can be seen in either schools or as individuals, and sometimes seen with spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias) and leopard sharks (Triakis semifasciata).
They are a viviparous species, with a gestation period of about 10 months, at the end of which 3-5 pups are born per litter. Like most small sharks, these have predators that include larger sharks, such as the sevengill shark (Notorynchus cepedianus). Something else preys on them, too… parasites. The copepods Pandaris bicolor and Perissopus oblongatus are reported parasites of this shark.
The brown smooth-hound is often taken as bycatch, although they are marketed fresh, smoked, and frozen for human consumption. They are also fished recreationally off the coast of California.
The brown smooth-hound is often seen in aquariums due their small size and hardiness in captivity. The brown smooth-hound is listed as Least Concern (LC) with the World Conservation Union (IUCN).
Did you know about this shark?