PORT PHILLIP BAY


School Shark 

Galeorhinus galeus (Linnaeus, 1758)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Meristics.
Vertebrae: 127 (precaudal 79)
Jaw teeth (upper): 17-3-7
Jaw teeth (lower): 15-3-15

A detailed description of mersitics is in:
Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds) (2008) Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Family level detail.
Small to moderately-sized streamlined sharks with long snouts, two widely-spaced dorsal fins that lack spines, the first with the fin-base positioned before the pelvic fins; the second dorsal fin originating before the anal fin and smaller than the first dorsal fin; tail with a large, distinctly-notched upper lobe; outer margins of teeth with coarse serrations. Found worldwide in tropical and temperate coastal seas with 47 species.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Craniata
Superclass:
Gnathostomata
Class:
Chondrichthyes
Subclass:
Elasmobranchii
Order:
Carcharhiniformes
Family:
Triakidae
Genus:
Galeorhinus
Species:
galeus

General Description

Body slender, streamlined, with two widely-spaced dorsal fins, the first much larger than the second. Tail with a long, broad, distinctly-notched upper lobe. Teeth with coarsely serrated outer margins. Uniformly slate grey to bronze above, paler below. To 2 m.

Biology

These free swimming sharks are ovoviviparous, meaning that the young are born shortly after hatching from eggs that develop inside the mother's uterus. Juveniles are occasionally found in coastal bays and estuaries, whereas adult School Sharks rarely enter bays. The School Shark is the most important commercial species in the southern Australian flake fishery. It is migratory and can live to more than 40 years. Although harmless, the sharp teeth could cause a nasty wound.

Habitat

In bays, along the coast and in offshore waters, to a depth of 500 m.

Open water

Distribution guide

Southern Australia.

Species Group

Sharks and rays Sharks

Depth

Shallow (1-30 m)
Deep ( > 30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor Midwater

Max Size

2 m

Diet

Carnivore

Harmful

Although considered harmless to humans, has the potential to bite.

Commercial Species

Yes

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Conservation Dependent
  • IUCN Red List : Vulnerable

Author

article author Bray, D.J.

Di Bray is a Senior Collection Manager of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

Author

article author Gomon, M.F.

Dr. Martin Gomon is a Senior Curator of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Gomon, M.F., 2011, School Shark, Galeorhinus galeus, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 18 Dec 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/6561

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