Squatiniformes – Angel sharks
Where sharks take on the graceful guise of angelic rays, gliding stealthily through the depths
One of their standout characteristics is their flattened body shape, which closely resembles that of a ray rather than the typical streamlined shape seen in most sharks. This flat physique enables them to effortlessly blend into their surroundings, often burying themselves in sandy or muddy bottoms, with only their eyes and spiracles exposed. This remarkable camouflaging ability makes them exceptional ambush predators, patiently waiting for unsuspecting prey to swim by before launching a surprise attack.
Another distinguishing feature of angel sharks is their distinctive pectoral fins. These fins are significantly expanded and positioned forward on their bodies, giving them a unique “wing-like” appearance. This adaptation allows angel sharks to gracefully “fly” through the water, gliding along the ocean floor with precision and agility. Furthermore, it aids in their camouflage, as the enlarged pectoral fins provide additional surface area for them to blend seamlessly with the sandy or muddy seabed.
Angel sharks are predominantly nocturnal hunters, relying on their remarkable adaptations for stealth and ambush to capture prey. Their diet includes a variety of fish and invertebrates, and they are known for their powerful jaws and sharp teeth, which allow them to grasp and immobilize their quarry effectively. Despite their relatively low profile in the world of sharks, these unique creatures offer a fascinating glimpse into marine life’s diverse and adaptive nature.