Animals >>

Spiny Dogfish

Spiny Dogfish (Squalus Acanthias)
[Jump to Article]

Spiny Dogfish Facts

Five groups that classify all living things
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
A group of animals within a pylum
A group of animals within a class
A group of animals within an order
A group of animals within a family
Common Name:
Most widely used name for this species
Scientific Name:
The name of the animal in science
Squalus Acanthias
The area where the animal first came from
Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans
What kind of foods the animal eats
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
48-160cm (19-63in)
Water Type:
Either freshwater, brakish or salt
Optimum pH Level:
The perfect acidity conditions for the animal
How long the animal lives for
25-80 years
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
Grey, Black, Brown, White
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal
Favourite Food:
The preferred food of this animal
The specific area where the animal lives
Bays and inshore waters
Average Clutch Size:
The average number of eggs laid at once
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from
Fish, Squid, Crustaceans
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
Sharks, Whales, Humans
Special Features:
Characteristics unique to this animal
Lack of anal fin and poisonous spines on back

Spiny Dogfish Location

Map of Spiny Dogfish Locations

Spiny Dogfish

The spiny dogfish is one of the most abundant species of shark in the world is also commonly known as the piked dogfish, the codshark and the thorndog. The spiny dogfish is the most well-known of the dogfish species and is also thought to be the most well-researched shark species in the world.

The spiny dogfish is found worldwide across the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans. The spiny dogfish tends to be found in the warmer coastal waters although it is not uncommon to spot spiny dogfish hunting in the freezing sub-Antarctic waters.

The spiny dogfish is a small-sized shark with a grey coloured body that has a light underside and little white spots on the back of the spiny dogfish. The spiny dogfish also has large eyes and a short snout and unlike many other species of shark, the spiny dogfish does have an anal fin.

The most distinctive feature of the spiny dogfish are the two spikes found on the back of the spiny dogfish, one spike in front of each dorsal fin. The spikes on the back of the spiny dogfish are mildly poisonous and are mainly used in defence.

The spiny dogfish is a carnivorous animal and therefore survives on a purely meat-based diet. Fish, squid and crustaceans are the most common meals for the spiny dogfish, but the spiny dogfish is also known to hunt octopus and even other sharks.

Due to its relatively large size, aggressive nature and poisonous spikes, the only real predators of the spiny dogfish are larger sharks, humans and the occasional killer whale.

As with some other species of shark, the spiny dogfish does not lay its eggs in the water to hatch, but the spiny dogfish fry instead hatch inside their mother and then emerge into the open ocean. After a gestation period that can last up to 2 years (the longest of any other vertebrate), the female spiny dogfish will produce a little of between 2 and 15 spiny dogfish pups.

View all 61 animals that start with S.

Article Tools

Print Article
View printer friendly version of Spiny Dogfish article.
Source/Reference Article
Learn how you can use or cite the Spiny Dogfish article in your website content, school work and other projects.

First Published: 18th January 2010, Last Updated: 8th November 2019

1. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 18 Jan 2010]
2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 18 Jan 2010]
4. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 18 Jan 2010]
5. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 18 Jan 2010]