Horn Shark

Horn Shark (Heterodntus francisci)

Contributed by TPERP Art Geisler

Brown shark in shallow waterJ&W Tam

Where to find them: They are found in the deeper pools of the Rocky Intertidal along the North Pacific Coast of California to Baja California.

What do they eat: Hard shelled molluscs, echinoderms and crustaceans. Juveniles prefer soft bodied animals such as worms and sea anemones.

Who eats them: Larger fishes and the northern elephant seal. Also bald eagles as well as kelp snails which can drill into the egg cases.

Adaptations: The Horn shark can be recognized by a short blunt head, with ridges over the eyes. It is brown or gray in color with dark spots. It has two high dorsal fins which have large spines.

Reproduction: The females lay up to 24 eggs from February to April. These spiral egg cases are then shoved into cracks and crevices. 

What’s their life like: Horn sharks hunt at night staying close to home. During the day they rest motionless, hidden.

Interesting facts: Horn sharks are harmless to humans unless harassed.  Juvenile sharks are segregated from the adults, preferring sandy bottoms. It takes about four weeks for a dropped tooth to be replaced. Large horn sharks that feed on purple sea urchins can have their teeth and fin spines can have purple stains.



Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Order: Heterodontiformes
Family: Heterodontidae
Scientific Name: Heterodontus francisci
Common Name(s): Horn Shark 

Source(s) of Information: https://a-z-animals.com/animals/horn-shark/

Last revised 15-Jan-21