Bullhead and Horn sharks (Heterodontiformes) fish profile and information / pictures of Bullhead and Horn sharks - Heterodontiformes

Bullhead and Horn sharks (Heterodontiformes) fish profiles

Bullhead and Horn shark information and info on the Heterodontiformes also known as Bullhead and Horn sharks

Bullhead and Horn sharks are a small order (Heterodontiformes) of basal modern sharks. There are nine living species in a single genus, Heterodontus, in the family Heterodontidae. All are relatively small, with the largest species being just 150 centimetres (59 in) in adult length. They are bottom feeders in tropical and subtropical waters.

The Bullhead and Horn sharks are morphologically rather distinctive. The mouth is located entirely anterior to the orbits. Labial cartilages are found in the most anterior part of the mouth. Nasoral grooves are present, connecting the external nares to the mouth. The nasal capsules are "trumpet-shaped" & well-separated from orbits. Circumnarial skin folds present; but the rostral process of neurocranium (braincase) is absent, although a precerebral fossa is present. Finally, the braincase bears a supraorbital crest.

The eyes lack a nictitating membrane. A spiracle is present, but small. The dorsal ends of branchial arches 4 and 5 are attached, but not fused into a "pickaxe" as in lamniform sharks. Heterodontiforms have 2 dorsal fins, with fin spines, as well as an anal fin. The dorsal and anal fin also contain basal cartilages, not just fin rays.

Bullhead Sharks have distinctive small spikes on the front of their dorsal fins. These are rumoured to be poisonous but no further scientific tests have been done to prove this rumor true or false.


Families within this order