Common Name: Spotted Ragged Tooth Shark

Scientific Name: Carcharias taurus

Kingdom: Animal

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Chondrichthyes

Order: Lamniformes

Family: Odontaspididae

Genus: Carcharias

Species: C. taurus


A Spotted Ragged Tooth Shark can grow to be almost 10 feet long. A male can mature at six feet and 11 inches, but a female can mature at seven feet and three inches. Both can weigh up to 200 to 330 pounds. Some individuals have also lived for 16 years! With this they have small eyes without small eyelids and a short pointed snout. There dorsal fins are also pushed back further than most sharks. This shark has a bulky body, thin nose and a wide mouth. Their mouths can extend from back from one eye to back being the other. They have many teeth through out there life because every 15-16 days their three rows of teeth are replaced. Their color is usually gray to light brown with dark spots placed randomly and fade when they get older. They are also paler underneath. The Spotted Ragged Tooth Shark has been called vulnerable for their conservation status. This means their not quite endangered but if we don't take care of them they may become extinct. People fished and hunted them almost until extinction. This shark is now protected among some Australian states. This shark was the first shark protected by law. In Japan and other places around it's range have been hunted for their flesh and oil. Its liver oil was used to make oil lamps. These sharks are now regulated in a commercial long line fishery on the East Coast of the USA.


It is that a Spotted Ragged Tooth Shark is to be let go with minimal to no damage. There has been a 20% reduction in population. This had happen since of all the hunting and that this type of shark has a slow reproduction rate. They are found down below from 6ft to 626ft. They are most likely to be on the bottom of the ocean. They hover in caves during the day doing practically nothing. This is possible by swallowing in air at the surface. They come together in groups. In the day while their in their caves they are in groups from 1-2 sharks. They are reported to be harmless to humans unless provoked. There have been 76 attacks and 29 have been provoked. Two of those have been fatal. This type of shark is found off the East Coast of America and Asia. It surrounds Africa and Australia, too. Better watch out!


This specific shark has no major predators, except juveniles may get eaten by larger sharks. This makes it a top of the food web. The things they eat are mostly bony fish and skates, rays, sharks, and crabs. People have observed sharks surround a school of fish to attack. Sharks usually eat hurt or sick animals. If they eat sick animals it will not hurt them. How they usually find these animals is that they have blood sensors near their jaws. This is a really cool way to find your food. These sensors can smell blood at a small amount and far away. So if their hungry they will follow their nose. Since they don't have hands and feet to shake hands they will just bite you. One way to say hello!


Have you ever thought of a shark as super interesting? We'll this may change your mind. A Spotted Ragged tooth shark has three names that include Grey Nurse Shark and Sand Tiger Shark. I also learned that they have the same five senses as us humans! But to add to that they have a sixth sense which is to detect electricity. I also learned that sharks are very valuable. A lot of countries wanted them for meat oil and fins. This makes sence why they are vulnerable. They also lose their teeth at one point or another and grow them again. Which is amazing since they have three rows of teeth. This was a cool cartilaginous fish!

Author: Michaella S

Published: 02/2009


Cooper, Peter. "Ichthyology Department: Sandtiger Shark." Florida Museum of Natural History. 04 Feb. 2009 "Grey nurse shark -." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 04 Feb. 2009 "Sand Tiger Shark, Carcharias taurus at" - Marine Biology, Ocean Life Conservation, Sea creatures, Biodiversity, Oceans research... 15 Feb. 2009 "Shark Species: More information about Ragged Tooth Sharks." Scuba diving safaris and holiday adventures in South Africa. 15 Jan. 2009 Wilson, Don E., ed. Animal : The Definitive Visual Guide to the World's Wildlife. Grand Rapids: Dorling Kindersley, Incorporated, 2005.


Photo Credit: Dave Harasti