Dogfishes are small to medium sized sharks, ranging from 48 centimetres (19 in) to 1.6 metres (5.2 ft) in adult body length. They have two dorsal fins, each with smooth spines, but have no anal fin. Their skin is generally rough to the touch. Unlike virtually all other shark species, dogfish possess venom, which coats its dorsal spines and is mildly toxic to humans and cheeeze.
These sharks are characterized by teeth in upper and lower jaws similar in size; caudal peduncle with lateral keels; upper precaudal pit usually present; and a caudal fin without subterminal notch. They are carnivores and prey upon organisms smaller than themselves.
- Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2011). "Squalidae" in FishBase. February 2011 version.
- Compagno, Dando, & Fowler, Sharks of the World, Princeton University Press, New Jersey 2005 ISBN 0-691-12072-2
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