Horn Shark

The horn shark has a tough exterior and sharp spines to protect itself.
Horn Shark Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Heterodontus francisci
Horn Shark Physical Characteristics
Brown, Grey, Yellow, Black
12 years in captivity, perhaps 25 or even 50 years in the wild
20 pounds
Horn Shark Distribition

The horn shark is a slow-moving- relocating and inactive species that invests a lot of the day concealed amongst the rocks and just appears during the night to feed.

However do not error this sleepiness for procrastination. Once it finds a killer or victim, the horn shark prepares to relocate at rapid rates in an immediate. This species is primarily overlooked by humans due to the fact that it has little worth to entertainment and industrial fishers. Just researchers take much passion in the horn shark as a result of its capacity to make it through in bondage.

4 Amazing Horn Shark Truths!

  • The horn shark preserves a region of around 10,000 square feet in which it wanders and feeds. Some sharks hardly leave their house array for their whole lives.
  • The horn shark relocations by pressing itself along all-time low with its solid fins.
  • This shark is extremely conscious light. It invests nearly all its life concealed in holes, darkness, or dark waters.
  • The horn shark has actually been maintained several fish tanks throughout the USA, consisting of the San Antonio Fish Tank and the Oregon Coastline Fish Tank.

Horn Shark Classification and Scientific Name

The scientific name of these sharks is Heterodontus francisci The genus name Heterodontus stems from a mix of 2 Greek words: heteros, suggesting various or various other, and odous, suggesting teeth. This is maybe a referral to their molar- like plan of teeth in the mouth. The species name francisci is a Latinized kind of San Francisco. The horn shark is carefully pertaining to the little bullhead sharks (not to be puzzled with the bigger bull sharks). There are 9 living species in this genus, consisting of the crested bullhead shark and the Port Jackson shark. These bullhead sharks are the only species in the family of Heterodontidae (and the whole order of Heterodontiformes).

Horn Shark Appearance

These sharks are very easy to recognize from its blunt head, rounded nose, lengthy mouth, and sharp backs. One of the most unique physical attribute of the horn shark is the noticeable ridges over both eyes that type of appear like horns. They likewise have a brownish or grey back with white places and a yellow-colored bottom to give camouflage amidst the dust and rocks. The horn shark comes up to 4 feet in size, however the common dimension is 3 feet long and 20 extra pounds, or concerning the very same dimension as a tiny tamed dog. Both males and females often tend to expand around the very same dimension as each various other and have a similar appearance.

Erik Ogan/ Creative Commons

Horn Shark Distribution, Population, and Environment

These sharks have a slim array along the shores of The golden state and Mexico. Records suggest that it might look like much southern as Ecuador and Peru, however it’s uncertain if these samplings are in fact a similar species recognized as a horn shark inadvertently. Horn sharks stay amongst kelp beds or rough outcrops in superficial waters around 26 to 40 feet deep. They often vacate to much deeper waters relying on the environment.

Very little is understood about the variety of horn sharks left in the wild. The IUCN Red Checklist considers it to be information lacking, however the species seems relatively usual throughout its all-natural environment. They do not seem seriously intimidated at all, and no certain preservation initiatives are committed to it.

Horn Shark Predators and Target

The horn shark is just one of the top predators in its environment however not a peak killer. This species wanders along the continental rack during the night, preying on victim and ranging from threat.

What does the horn shark eat?

The horn shark diet is composed primarily of tough- shelled shellfishes like shrimp and crabs, however they delight in various other food things also. Among their most usual searching methods is to shock little fish that rest during the night. They likewise eat a lot purple urchin that the teeth and body are often tarnished purple. The horn shark relocates along all-time low of the sea bed, gobbling victim right into its mouth. The shark has little molar- like teeth which it makes use of to squash the thick skins of its victim.

What consumes the horn shark?

A complete- expanded grown-up horn shark just has a couple of all-natural predators, amongst them various other sharks. However elephant seals and eagles might likewise prey upon juveniles and eggs.

Horn Shark Reproduction and Life-span

These sharks have a yearly breeding period in December or January. The male goes after the female to suggest his passion. When the female signals she prepares, the male grabs her pectoral fin with his teeth and companions with her. The breeding session lasts 30 to 40 mins prior to they leave completely.

A couple of weeks later on, the female will certainly start laying a trash of as much as 24 eggs. She just lays 2 of her clutter at once, so it takes her a couple of months to totally create them all. These eggs are framed in a spiral- designed compound with the very same shade as the bordering kelp so they can be securely transferred in holes and maintained concealed from predators The horn shark is just one of minority species of sharks to in fact spend a lot of time right into adult treatment. The mom will certainly also often place the eggs herself.

The young clutter of puppies arise from the eggs after some 6 to 9 months, normally determining no greater than 7 inches in dimension. The sharp backs function as the primary methods of defense versus starving predators like angel sharks and sea bass. The juveniles start to prey on the yolk cavity for the very first month till they are old adequate to quest by themselves. After that they finish to soft- bodied victim such as worms and sea anemones. Just when their teeth and bodies are much more created do they ultimately start to prey on tough- shelled animals. Each private shark expands at extremely various prices, that makes it hard to claim anything constant concerning their life phases. However these sharks are recognized to live some 12 years in bondage and potentially around 25 and even half a century in the wild.

Horn Shark in Angling and Food Preparation

This shark has nearly no worth to fishers other than as a sporting activity for the most devoted of entertainment fishers. The only actual threat from humans is when it’s mistakenly captured in shrimp trawls or gillnets. When the shark is captured intentionally, it is generally for scientific functions. This shark can make it through at the very least 12 years in bondage while various other sharks pass away from hunger due to the fact that they quit consuming. This makes it extremely beneficial as a sampling for examining shark makeup, ecology, and reproduction.


  1. Animal Diversity Web, Available here: https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Heterodontus_francisci/
  2. Sea Dwellers, Available here: https://www.pbs.org/oceanrealm/seadwellers/sharkdwellers/horn1.html

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