How Small is the Smallest Shark?
Known as one of the most dangerous marine animals, a shark is a fish with a streamlined body and a well-developed cartilaginous skeleton. This kind of fish is usually seen in seas with a depth of at least 6,600 feet or 2,000 meters. Most species of shark cannot survive in freshwater. This marine animal has dermal denticles, which are important to help a shark swim faster. Most sharks have big size like the hammerhead and the great white. However, to know more about this marine species, let us look at the smallest type of shark.
The Dwarf Lanternshark
How small is the smallest shark? According to records, the smallest kind of shark is the Etmopterus perryi (also known as the dwarf lanternshark). The usual size of newborn dwarf lanternsharks is around 2.2 inches to 2.4 inches. Matured female dwarf lanternsharks usually have a length of 6.1 inches. On the other hand, matured male sharks have a length of 6.3 inches to 6.9 inches. Finally, pregnant lanternsharks have a length of 7.5 inches to 7.9 inches.
Additional Information and Other Important Details
This species has a flattened head and large eyes. The flaps of skin of the shark’s nares are poorly developed. The upper jaw of the animal has 25 to 32 tooth rows. On the other hand, the lower jaw has 30 to 34 tooth rows. The marine species has small gill slits and a short trunk. The dorsal fins of this animal have spines. Aside from this, the shark has dark brown skin. There are black markings on the surface of the animal’s skin. The markings are consisted of photphores. Other species of the Etmopterus perryi have black markings, which are consisted of chromatophores.
Where can we find the dwarf lanternshark? Based on reports posted by the marine biologist, this kind of shark can only be seen in some parts of the Caribbean Sea on the coasts of Venezuela and Colombia. The marine animal can also be seen in the Caribbean Sea between Grenada and the Los Testigos Islands just few miles away from the Guajira Peninsula.
Since the species is very small, humans do not give economic value to the shark. Commercial fisheries near the places where the animal can be seen use the animal as bycatch. Due to the deficiency in information or data about this marine species, the International Union for Conservation of Nature does not give enough attention to conserve the dwarf lanternshark.