Not just Shark
Pictures: Elasmodiver contains photos of sharks, skates, rays, and
chimaera's from around the world. Elasmodiver began as a simple web
based shark field guide to help divers find the best places to
encounter the different species of sharks and rays that live in
shallow water but it has slowly evolved into a much larger project
containing information on all aspects of shark diving and shark
There are now
more than 5000 shark pictures and sections on shark evolution,
biology, and conservation. There is a large library of reviewed
shark books, a constantly updated shark taxonomy page, a monster
list of shark links, and deeper in the site there are numerous
articles and stories about shark encounters. Elasmodiver is now so
difficult to check for updates, that new information and pictures
are listed on an Elasmodiver Updates Page that can be accessed here:
Long slender body. Dorsum plain grey/brown. Ventrum pale/white. First dorsal large and
rounded. Fins have a pale to white
trailing margin probably fading towards adulthood. Caudal fin deeply notched.
Flat, plate like teeth. Interdorsal ridge present. Iris golden. Pupil large and
Upper labial furrows much longer than lower. P
avement of high
Maximum recorded size 140cm. Size at birth 39 - 43cm.
Continental shelf from 36m to 229 m. Mostly between 42 and 91 meters.
Restricted to the Gulf of Mexico. Mostly along the northern rim of the
continental shelf. The northern population may extend down the western edge of
the gulf and link up with a second smaller group located in the southern gulf
west of the Yucatan.
Diet consists of
crustaceans, molluscs and small fishes - menhaden among others.
with yolk sac placenta.
Recorded litter size 8.
IUCN Red List Status:
Not evaluated. It's limited range probably makes it susceptible to over fishing.
Gulf of Mexico under an oil rig.
Sympatric species include the Florida smoothhound M.norrisi
(described as having upper labial furrows shorter than lower). M.norissi may be
synonymous with M.canis (also sympatric) which has upper labial furrows
longer than lower but to a lesser degree than M.sinusmexicanus.
Reaction to divers:
Not known but probably shy like other smoothhounds due to small size.
Although this species of smoothhound shark can be found within recreational
limits, encounters with divers have not been recorded. It may be possible to
encounter the Gulf smoothhound while diving under some of the deeper rigs that
are sprinkled along the continental shelf in the northern Gulf of Mexico.
Reports of sightings/encounters would be welcome.