Tags: Taxonomy,  Bramble Sharks 

Bramble Sharks

Order: Echinorhiniformes

Bramble sharks are named for thorn-like 'dermal denticles' that grow over their body. Bramble sharks are rare, although widely distributed. Living towards the bottom in moderately to very deep waters, bramble sharks are believed to attack their prey by sucking them in and then expanding the mouth to vacuum them in further. Until recently, bramble sharks were included among the dogfish sharks in the Squaliforme order, but molecular and other analysis warranted a separate order.

Prickly Shark

Echinorhinus cookei

Characteristics of Bramble Sharks

# of Species
Body shape
Rounded; stocky build; 10 to 13 feet, depending on species
Mouth position
Underneath; Moderate size
Anal fin
Dorsal Fin
Fin spines
# of Gill slits
Ovoviviparous (eggs develop in the mother’s body and are born alive).
Litter size: Bramble sharks 15-24 pups; Prickly shark over 100 pups.
Unique qualities
Enlarged, thorn-like denticles scattered over the body
Marine, deep water from cool temperate to tropical zones of the eastern Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans. Moderate to very deep waters — from 36 to 2,950 feet
Bramble sharks feed on mostly bottom-dwelling sharks, fish, crabs, octopuses, and squids

The 2 Species of Bramble Shark


Common name

Echinorhinus brucus

Bramble Shark

Echinorhinus cookei

Prickly Shark

 Red indicates inclusion on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species.