Sand shark

2007 Schools Wikipedia Selection. Related subjects: Insects, Reptiles and Fish

iSand sharks
Grey nurse shark, Carcharias taurus
Grey nurse shark, Carcharias taurus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Order: Lamniformes
Family: Odontaspididae
Müller & Henle, 1839

See text for genera and species.

Sand sharks, or sand tigers, are lamniform sharks of the family Odontaspididae (or sometimes referred to as Carchariidae). They are found on both sides of the Atlantic coast, but most notably in the Gulf of Maine. There are four species in two genera.


Sand sharks have a large second dorsal fin. They typically grow to 5 to 9 ft on average. The body tends to be brown in colour with dark markings in the upper half. It also has a flattened snout.


Sand sharks only develop two embryos, one in each uterus. The strongest pups eat the other embryos before being born. They have a gestation period of about 9 to 12 months.


  • Genera Carcharias
    • Grey nurse shark or sand tiger shark, Carcharias taurus Rafinesque, 1810
    • Indian sand tiger, Carcharias tricuspidatus Day, 1878
  • Genera Odontaspis
    • Smalltooth sand tiger or bumpytail raggedtooth, Odontaspis ferox (Risso, 1810)
    • Bigeye sand tiger, Odontaspis noronhai (Maul, 1955)

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