Sunday, October 30, 2011

Life of Atlantic Sharpnose Shark

Life of Sea | Atlantic Sharpnose Shark (Rhizoprionodon terraenovae) | Atlantic sharpnose shark milk is a requiem shark of the family Carcharhinidae found in the subtropical waters of the northwestern Atlantic Ocean. These sharks prefer subtropical waters near continental shelf remote from the intertidal zone to deeper waters outside. They are often found near the surf zone of sandy beaches and in closed bays, sounds, harbors, estuaries and river mouths. This shark is able to tolerate lower salinity levels outside, but they do not venture into freshwater bull sharks.

Scientific classification
Kingdom:     Animalia
Phylum:     Chordata
Class:     Chondrichthyes
Subclass:     Elasmobranchii
Order:     Carcharhiniformes
Family:     Carcharhinidae
Genus:     Rhizoprionodon
Species:     R. terraenovae 

Atlantic sharpnose sharks are small, gray, streamlined sharks, with characteristic long, pointed snout. The males reach at least 1 m long, females may be slightly higher to 1.1 m. Their average weight is 7.25 kg. The edge of their anal fins are straight or slightly concave. Their second dorsal fin located behind their anal fins. Atlantic Sharp Nose sharks are known to be at least 10 years of age to reach.

Females give live birth to a litter of 3-7 pups after a gestation period of 10-11 months. The pups are usually born between 25-35 cm (10-14 inches) in total length. Females often found in marine estuaries during late spring months, probably because Pupping area where they birth their young. Atlantic sharpnose sharks feed on small bony fishes, shrimps, crabs, worms and mollusks. 

In the United States, Atlantic sharpnose shark caught in the commercial and recreational fishing, as well as by-catch. Recent commercial landings of this species indicate that it accounts for more than one third of all landings of small coastal sharks in the south-eastern United States in the 1990s. The Atlantic milk shark is also heavily exploited in Mexico.

This is a very abundant species, with an early age at maturity, short generation time and lifespan, and moderately high litter size and population, can withstand a higher level of removal than many other shark species. It is therefore considered a low risk of extinction due to its life history and population characteristics. Nursery areas for this species along the coast and coastal waters often adults, making it vulnerable to such exploitation and human-induced habitat degradation.

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