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Shark Info   (03-27-2002)




Shark Info

  Main article:

Sharks and CITES

Dr. Thomas Althaus

  Article 1:

Sharks in Research and Industry

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  Article 2:

Distribution of white sharks is influenced by their gender

Shark Info

  Article 3:

Extended niche for the white shark

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  Article 4:

Frequently asked Questions

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  Article 5:

E. Ritter leaves Shark info and Shark Foundation

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  Fact Sheet:

Tope shark

Shark Info

Fact Sheet: Tope shark

G. galeus

The tope shark Galeorhinus galeus.

© Innerspace Visions / Shark Foundation

Scientific Name: Galeorhinus zyopterus
German: Hundshai
Englisch: Tope shark, Soupfin shark, School shark
French: Requin-ha
Spanish: Cazon


This is a typical houndshark or tope shark with almond-shaped eyes and a long snout. The second dorsal fin is considerably smaller than the first and is about the same size as the anal fin which lies immediately opposite.


The shark's upper body is bronze to taupe-colored and its belly is pale white.


Houndsharks are active and fast swimmers who prefer to stay mainly in coastal regions. They also live partly pelagic, but not oceanic , preferring waters between 2 and approx. 470 meters deep. Often swimming in schools, they demonstrate highly migratory behavior and have been proven to master distances of 2,500 km. Observations have shown that outside the mating season, males and females prefer to live separately.
Pregnant females swim in very shallow coastal regions to drop their young who usually remain there for a year or two.


These sharks reach a maximum size of 195 cm, except for animals found near Australia who are somewhat smaller with 175 cm.


Houndsharks have a broad food spectrum, preferring bony fish such as herring, sardines and codfish. In addition to feeding on freely swimming fish and those who live on the ocean floor, they also eat crabs and other invertebrates.


Houndsharks bear their young alive and have no placenta (ovoviviparous). Their litters can range from 6 and 52 pups, but are usually between 20 and 35. The pups are 30 to 40 cm long at birth. Males reach sexual maturity around age 8 (with a body length of 120 to 170 cm), and females at age 11 (with a body length of 130 to 185 cm). Their life span is said to be about 55 years.


Southwestern Atlantic: south of Brazil to Argentina. Eastern Atlantic: Iceland, Norway, Faeroe Islands and Great Britain. Entire Mediterranean area. Senegal, it is questionable if it is found further south along the Western coast of Africa, certainly however in South Africa. Western South Pacific: Australia (western and southern regions), New Zealand. Central Pacific: Laysan Islands. Eastern Pacific: British Columbia to southern Baja California, Peru and Chile.

Similar Species

Their very typical shape makes them easily recognizable and not likely to be confused with other species.

Danger to humans

Due to their maximum size of less than two meters, tope sharks pose no threat to humans.


As the English translation of their name "soupfin shark" already suggests, many houndshark populations are endangered because they are strongly overfished. The soupfin shark in California, for example, has been practically wiped out.

May be published only by indicating the source: Shark Info



last change: 06-04-2016 11:48