horn sharks

The Horn Sharks, Heterodontus: A “Different” Kind

Back in my early days of diving, a couple of men I knew sported necklaces featuring a single horn shark spine. Luckily, the days of West Coast divers killing harmless sharks for jewelry didn’t last long.  Horn sharks (Heterodontus francisci) are members of the order Heterodontiformes (bullhead sharks) and the family Heterodontidae. The genus name, Heterodontus, comes from two Greek words meaning “different teeth” and the species name, francisci, is derived from San Francisco, though these sharks rarely venture that far north.  Heterodontidae is a […]

Horn Sharks

When most of us think of sharks, we think about large, efficient predators with big teeth. This description, however, is only true of a tiny fraction of the world’s approximately 400 species of shark. Most sharks are small, docile, and have really tiny teeth. These are the anti-sharks, and are actually a joy to watch and photograph. The California native, the horn shark is typical of these small sharks. Horn sharks, Heterodontus francisci, belong to the order Heterodonontids, the bullhead sharks. Bullhead sharks first came […]

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