Dwarf lantern shark Facts

Dwarf lantern shark Facts
Dwarf lantern shark is the smallest of the seven known species of lantern sharks. It belongs to the dogfish family. Dwarf lantern shark was discovered recently (in 1964). This shark can be found only in the Caribbean Sea. It lives on a depth of 1000 to 1500 feet near the coast of South America. Due to their small size, dwarf lantern sharks are not on a target of fishermen. However, they often end up trapped in the fishing nets as a result of by-catch (accidentally captured). Exact number of remaining dwarf lantern sharks in the wild is unknown.
Interesting Dwarf lantern shark Facts:
Dwarf lantern shark is the smallest shark in the world. It usually grows 6 inches in length and has 0.5 ounces of weight. Females are slightly larger than males.
Dwarf lantern sharks are dark brown colored. Ventral side of the body is covered with black markings. Black line stretches along dorsal side of the body.
Dwarf lantern sharks have long, flattened head that usually occupies one third of the body. Due to life in almost complete darkness, dwarf lantern sharks have large, elongated eyes which facilitate visualization of the surrounding objects.
Dwarf lantern shark has short trunk, large dorsal fin covered with grooved spines, and short caudal fin. Anal fin is absent.
Teeth of dwarf lantern shark are designed for cutting and slicing. There are 20 to 23 rows of teeth in the upper jaw and 30 to 34 rows of teeth in the lower jaw.
Dwarf lantern shark has 5 small gill slits on the lateral side of the body.
Skin of dwarf lantern shark is covered with thin, randomly arranged, V-shaped scales called dermal denticles.
Dwarf lantern shark is a carnivore (meat-eater). Its diet consists of miniature crustaceans, called krill.
Dwarf lantern shark are named that way because they are small (dwarf) and able to glow in the dark (lantern).
Like many deep sea creatures, dwarf lantern sharks have bioluminescent properties. They possess photophore, organ which emits light, located on the bottom side of the body (on the belly and fins).
Dwarf lantern shark produces light to attract the prey and to become invisible to the predators that swim below them (glowing belly masks the silhouette of the shark when looking from below).
Dwarf lantern sharks are often targeted by parasites which shorten the lifespan of these creatures.
Sexual maturity of dwarf lantern sharks depends on the body length. Males become ready to reproduce when they reach length of 6.3 to 6.9 inches. Females start to mate when they reach length of 6.1 inches.
Dwarf lantern sharks have internal fertilization. Female gives birth to 2 to 3 babies after gestation that lasts less than one year. Young sharks are 2.2 to 2.4 inches long at birth.
Lifespan of dwarf lantern shark is unknown.

Related Links:
Animal Facts
Animals Facts