Gulper shark - Centrophorus granulosus


Illustration © Marc Dando

This shark has a smooth skin (block-shaped denticles wide spaced but not overlapping). It has a rather short and thick snout, and its first dorsal fin is quite short and high, with the second being almost as high with a spine base over its inner pelvic fin margins. There is a shallow notch in the postventral caudal fin margin of adults, and the lower lobe is moderately long.

Dark grey or grey-brown on top, and lighter below with dusky fin webs and dark fin tips only in the juveniles.

At birth, the shark is 1 to 1.4 ft [30 to42 cm] in length. Males mature at 2 to 2.6 ft [60 to 80 cm] and females mature over 3 ft [90 cm]. Its maximum length is 3.4 to 3.6 ft [105 to110 cm].

Continental shelves and slopes, on or near the bottom from 164 to 4724.4 ft [50 to1440 m], mostly between 656.2 and1968.5 ft [200 and600 m].

Widespread in the Atlantic and west Indian Oceans, and the west and possibly central Pacific.


  • Prey – Bony fishes and also squid and crustaceans.

  • Reproduction – Ovoviviparous, with 1 or 2 pups per litter.

Critically endangered regionally around Australia. They are target and bycatch in deepwater fisheries for their liver oil and meat, which has caused population declines.