Velvet Belly Lantern Shark images

 
   
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Velvet Belly Lantern Shark Facts and Photos on this Small Bioluminescent Shark

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The velvet belly lantern shark, Etmopterus spinax, is a species of dogfish shark and one of the most common deepwater sharks in the northeastern Atlantic Ocean. It is a small shark that rarely grows more than 18 inches long,with a stout body, a long snout and tail, and small gill slits.

The velvet belly lantern shark has a distinctive black belly which gives it is name of velvet belly, and is bioluminescent, with light-emitting photophores on its sides and abdomen. It is believed that the bioluminescence camouflages the shark, and also is involved in social interactions.  They live in the eastern Atlantic, Mediterranean, and as far south as the coast of northern South Africa, and are one of the most abundant of sharks in these areas. Young velvet belly lantern sharks feed on krill and small bony fish, adults on, crustaceans,  squid and shrimp as they grow larger.

The velvet belly lantern shark is ovoviviparous, with the embryos hatching inside the uterus and being sustained by a yolk sac. Ovulation occurs in late spring, fertilization in summer,  and birth in late winter or early spring, giving a gestation period of a little under a year.  A typical litter is 6 to 20 pups, and females will bear every two to three years. At birth the pups measure about five inches long. Males mature at age 4, and females a little later at age 5. The lifespan is estimated to be around 20 years.

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Picture of a velvet belly shark, Etmopterus spinax, Hogsfjord, Rogaland, Norway, North Atlantic Ocean

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Stock photo of a velvet belly lanternshark, Etmopterus spinax, Sognefjord, Norway, Atlantic Ocean

Picture #: 002844

Image of a velvet belly lanternsharks, Etmopterus spinax, adult, and embryo with yolk-sac placenta attached, Israel, Mediterranean Sea

Picture #: 009897

Photo of a velvet belly lantern shark, Etmopterus spinax, Forsand, Rogaland, Norway, North Atlantic Ocean

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Picture of a velvet belly lanternshark, Etmopterus spinax, Israel, Mediterranean Sea

Picture #: 009899

Stock photo of a velvet belly lanternshark or velvet belly shark, Etmopterus spinax, North Atlantic

Picture #: 042974

Image of a velvet belly lantern shark, Etmopterus spinax, Forsand, Rogaland, Norway, North Atlantic Ocean

Picture #: 082103

Photo of a velvet belly lanternshark, Etmopterus spinax, Sognefjord, Norway, North Atlantic Ocean

Picture #: 009896

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Picture of a velvet belly lantern shark, Etmopterus spinax, Forsand, Rogaland, Norway, North Atlantic Ocean

Picture #: 082102

Stock photo of a velvet belly lanternshark, Etmopterus spinax, Sognefjord, Norway, North Atlantic Ocean

Picture #: 011179

Image of a velvet belly lanternshark or velvet belly shark, Etmopterus spinax, North Atlantic

Picture #: 042975

Photo of a velvet belly lanternshark or velvet belly shark, Etmopterus spinax, North Atlantic

Picture #: 042972

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Picture of a velvet belly lanternshark or velvet belly shark, Etmopterus spinax, North Atlantic

Picture #: 042973

Stock photo of a velvet belly lanternshark, Etmopterus spinax, Sognefjord, Norway, North Atlantic Ocean

Picture #: 024452

Image of a velvet belly lanternshark, Etmopterus spinax, Israel, Mediterranean Sea

Picture #: 085118

Photo of a velvet belly lantern shark, Etmopterus spinax, Forsand, Rogaland, Norway, North Atlantic Ocean

Picture #: 082104

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Illustration of a velvet belly lanternshark or velvet belly shark, Etmopterus spinax, pen and ink

Picture #: 067229

Stock photo of a velvet belly lanternshark or velvet belly shark, Etmopterus spinax, North Atlantic

Picture #: 042971

Image of a velvet belly lanternshark or velvet belly shark, Etmopterus spinax, North Atlantic

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Illustration of a velvet belly lanternshark or velvet belly shark, Etmopterus spinax, pen and ink, lateral view

Picture #: 067322

 

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