The Shark Order Squatiniformes
These fearsome ambush predators spend much of their time lying motionless on the bottom, partially buried in sandy or muddy substrates. Buried angel sharks may lie in this way for weeks until a suitably sized prey of small bony fishes, crustaceans, cephalopods, bivalves and gastropods come within striking range. The buried shark then rapidly snaps up its head, expands its pharynx and protrudes its loosely slung trap-like jaws and seizes the victim. Although angel sharks are not particularly dangerous when left in peace, they can bite aggressively if stepped on or captured.thus nicknamed "sand devil" in some areas of their range.
Two of the largest squatinoids, Japanese Angel Shark and the Mediterranean Angel Shark, may grow to more than six and a half feet; however, most grow to a length of about five feet. The depth range of angel sharks is from the intertidal down to at least 4,500 feet. The angel shark species off the eastern United States, the Atlantic angel shark seasonally enters shallow waters moving inshore in the spring and summer then disappearing (presumably into deeper water offshore) are apparently migratory.
They are exclusively marine, ranging from temperate to tropical zones of the eastern and western Atlantic, southwestern Indian, eastern and western Pacific oceans (they do not seem to occur in the central Pacific reaches of the Ocean. Angel fish are generally found in shallow waters at depth of 10 to 328 feet.
This distinctive group of sharks comprises a single family of about thirteen (13) species. All species hatch young from eggs within the body. The Angelsharks appearance are raylike with mottled backs, they have two, dorsal fins (the fin located on the back of the fish), no anal fin, and large pectoral fins (found on the side of the fish near the front) that reach forward over the gills. The upper lobe of the tail fin is shorter than the lower lobe. Its mouth has small teeth for impaling and is nearly terminal at tip of snout; and fleshy nasal barbels (whisker like projections that help the fish locate food).
The Order Squatiniformes has one Family
|Species in the The Family Squatinidae|
|Squatina aculeata||sawback angelshark|
|Squatina africana||African angelshark|
|Squatina argentina||Argentine angelfish|
|Squatina australis||Australian angelfish|
|Squatina california||Pacific angel shark|
|Squatina dumeril||Atlantic angel shark|
|Squatina formosa||Taiwan angelfish|
|Squatina japonica||Japanese angelfish|
|Squatina nebulosa||clouded angelshark|
|Squatina oculata||monk fish|
|Squatina tergocellate||zornate angelshark|
|Squatina terocellatoides||ocellated angelshark|