Fun Sawback Angelshark Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
May 09, 2023 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Ankit Shinde
Sawback Angelshark facts are fun to read.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.3 Min

The sawback angelshark (Squatina aculeata) is an extremely interesting species to read about. This species of angelsharks have a limited range around the globe. They are mostly found in the eastern Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.

This species was also found in the Balearic Islands. However, the sawback angelshark is no longer seen in this geographic range. They have instead shifted to the Mediterranean Sea range.

They have a strict marine range and their diet complies with this range. Sawback angelsharks show cannibalism habits as they can be seen consuming other small sharks.

This might be because sharks are a common animal found in their marine range. The Atlantic and Mediterranean marine ranges also have bony marine fish which are consumed by these marine species. Other animals preyed by them include invertebrates dwelling at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean or Mediterranean Sea.

However, the sawback angelshark is Critically Endangered as per the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. One of the reasons for a decline in their population may be due to the excessive fishing of this species by many fisheries. To reduce the risk of their extinction, measures are being taken to keep these sharks protected.

There are many more interesting facts about the sawback angelshark in this article. So what are you waiting for? Keep on reading to know more. If you liked this article on the sawback angelshark, you can also take a look at other fun articles which contain facts on the Oceanic whitetip shark and the Port Jackson shark.

Sawback Angelshark Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a sawback angelshark?

The sawback angelshark (Squatina aculeata) is a type of angelshark.

What class of animal does a sawback angelshark belong to?

The sawback angelshark belongs to the class Chondrichthyes.

How many sawback angelsharks are there in the world?

The exact population of sawback angelsharks residing in the world at present is not known. However, it is known that they have a very low population. Sadly, their population is decreasing by the day due to excessive fishing.

Where does a sawback angelshark live?

The sawback angelshark (Squatina aculeata) lives in the ocean. The primary residence of the sawback shark is the western part of the Mediterranean Sea and the eastern coasts of the Atlantic Ocean. Apart from these regions, they can also be found in the waters of Morocco, Guinea, Gabon, Senegal, Angola, and Nigeria.

What is a sawback angelshark's habitat?

The sawback angelshark dwells on continental shelves as well as on slopes with sedimentation. They can be seen as deep as  4560 ft (1390 m) at the bottom of the ocean.

They are residents of the intertidal zone which means sawback angelsharks can be found in the region where the high tide meets the low tide. The intertidal zone is found near the beach.

Who do sawback angelsharks live with?

The sawback angelshark (Squatina aculeata) is a solitary creature. It lives on its own except during the mating season.

How long does a sawback angelshark live?

The average lifespan of a sawback angelshark remains unknown.

How do they reproduce?

Sawback angelsharks are ovoviviparous animals which means that they have a very special mode of reproduction. Ovoviviparity is common in sharks. In this mode of reproduction, a male sawback angelshark mates with a female sawback.

Following this, the fertilized eggs stay within the female sawback angelshark's body. The embryo within the eggs develops over time while the eggs are still inside the female's body. The eggs remain in the body of the female until they are ready to hatch.

However, unlike mammals, these animals do not have any placenta. Much like birds or other viviparous animals, the embryos are nourished by the yolk of the egg. However, a female sawback angelshark provides oxygen to the eggs for their respiration.

What is their conservation status?

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List has listed the conservation status of sawback angelsharks as Critically Endangered. Their population is facing the risk of extinction because the number of sawback angelsharks is on a gradual slope of decline due to human activity.

Sawback Angelshark Fun Facts

What do sawback angelsharks look like?

The sawback angelshark species is a light brown or gray-colored animal. The back of this species is adorned with multiple dark brown spots coupled with small white spots as well. The bodies of these fish do not have any ocelli.

Moreover, this species flaunts black or dark-colored spots at the base of its tail, fins, head, and back. This species of shark also has a linear row of thorns running from its head through its back.

They have whisker-like barbels that are fringed. The nose of this species has an exterior flap. This shark species can be seen with needle teeth.

Underwater view of an angelshark in an aquarium.

*Please note the main image and this image are of an Angel Shark that belongs to the same family as the Sawback Angelshark. If you have an image of a Sawback Angelshark please let us know at hello@kidadl.com

How cute are they?

Sawback angelsharks (Squatina aculeata) are not cute to look at. They are rather ugly due to their huge flat-shaped head, big mouth, and whisker-like barbels.

How do they communicate?

The exact communication modes of sawback angelsharks (Squatina aculeata) are not known. This species of angelshark is a type of shark.

Generally, sharks communicate through the medium of sound, smell, and touch, as well as through chemical signals. A shark can communicate with another shark by a visual tactic where it arches its body or nods its head. The lateral line that is present in all sharks helps the sharks to perceive vibrations in the water.

This acts as a vital mode of communication to measure the distance of objects and locate prey. These vibrations can also be used by sharks to spot a possible mate.

How big is a sawback angelshark?

A mature sawback angelshark can measure around 4.2-6.7 ft (1.2-2 m)in length. It can measure around two to two and a half times more in length than a koi fish.

How fast can a sawback angelshark swim?

Although the exact speed at which a sawback angelshark (Squatina aculeata) can swim remains unknown, they are known to be swimmers of moderate speed. However, they can pick up a quick pace when they chase their prey.

How much does a sawback angelshark weigh?

The average weight of a sawback angelshark is not yet recorded.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no separate names for male and female angel sharks. They are simply known as male angel sharks and female angel sharks.

What would you call a baby sawback angelshark?

A baby sawback angelshark is known as a pup, just like other juvenile sharks.

What do they eat?

The primary diet of this species of angel shark is fish. They also consume small sharks and crustaceans such as shrimps, prawns, and crabs. Other invertebrates that this Critically Endangered species consumes include mollusks.

Are they dangerous?

This species of shark is predatory. Moreover, this species of angel shark may pose a threat to humans if they are threatened or disturbed.

Would they make a good pet?

Since this species of shark can be quite predatory and can also be harmful to humans, they are not likely to make good pets.

Did you know...

Sawback angelsharks (Squatina aculeata) spend most of their time lying idly at the bottom of the ocean.

Earlier the sawback angel shark was easily found in the range of Balearic Islands. However, this species of angel shark is no longer as frequently spotted in the Balearic Islands range anymore. Their habitat has shifted from the Balearic Islands to a broader range in the Mediterranean Sea.

The hunting technique of this species of shark is through an ambush. This means that they lay still while awaiting their prey to arrive. It is upon the arrival of the prey that this species attacks them stealthily.

Although angelsharks generally dwell in the Pacific Ocean, sawback angelsharks have a different habitat.

All angel sharks possess the ability to camouflage. This is because of the coloration of their bodies.

Their gray and brown color helps them to blend in with the ocean floor, which is why sawback angelsharks are bottom dwellers. The brown and white-colored spots on their backs, coupled with the dark blots on their head, back, fins, and tails help in the camouflaging process even more.

How many species of angelshark are there?

There are 22 species of angel sharks. The specialty of the many angel shark species is that they bear a striking resemblance to a ray fish, unlike other sharks.

Why are angelsharks endangered?

The main fact that has led to the endangerment of angel sharks is overfishing in their habitat. The nets that are used to catch this species of shark in fisheries often lack regulations.

This leads to excessive fishing of this species. Another cause that is one of the leading threats to the decline of this species is habitat loss.

Due to global warming, climate change, and human practices, this species from the genus Squatina, is suffering from the degradation of its natural habitat. They face a future risk of extinction.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish including spinner sharks or basking sharks.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our sawback angelshark coloring pages.

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Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sawback_angelshar

https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/species/sawback-angelshark#conservation-management

https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Squatina_californica/#behavio

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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Fact-checked by Ankit Shinde

Bachelor of Journalism and Mass Communication

Ankit Shinde picture

Ankit ShindeBachelor of Journalism and Mass Communication

Ankit is a Journalism and Mass Media graduate from the University of Mumbai. With experience in SEO, blog and article writing, and fiction writing, he is a versatile writer and content creator. In his free time, Ankit enjoys reading, writing, and listening to music.

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