Carcharias taurus (Spotted raggedtooth)
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Carcharias taurus (Spotted raggedtooth) [Illustration
by Ann Hecht ©]
A large, brownish, heavy-bodied shark with a
short pointed snout, small eyes, protruding spikelike teeth, and
small equal-sized dorsal and anal fins. 1st dorsal closer to pelvic
fins than pectorals. Lighter below, often with reddish spots on
To 3.2 m TL.
Entire coast from Namibia to
Mozambique; Atlantic, Indian and Western Pacific Oceans.
Shelf and coastal, from the surfline down to 191 m, off sandy
beaches, in shallow bays, and on coral and rocky reefs.
Common in temperate and tropical waters of the east coast, rare and
sporadic on the west coast. Bears 2 young. Eats bony fish, sharks,
rays, squid, crabs, and lobsters.
The `raggie' is
usually harmless and rarely bites divers and bathers, but readily
steals speared fish from divers. Minimally used here for meat and
fins, commonly caught by the Natal anti-shark nets.
Text by Leonard J.V. Compagno, David A. Ebert
and Malcolm J. Smale