The slender smooth-hound is a species of ground shark endemic to New Zealand. It’s usually found near the bottom, at depths between 300 and 600 m. As their common name indicates, slender smoothhounds are long and slim, and can reach lengths of over 1.1m. They’re usually brown or brownish grey. They have a rudimentary nictitating membrane and about 100 rows of small teeth in both the upper and lower jaw.
Due to their demersal lifestyle, the majority of their prey are crustaceans and fish from the bottom of the ocean. They’re ovoviviparous and embryos survive at first by eating unfertlized eggs, and later are fed via yolk sac, and in some cases by a uterine milk, a nutritious substance produced by the mother. Litter sizes are commonly just 2, one pup per uterus.
Slender smooth-hounds are currently considered a species of least concern by the IUCN. They’re not economically significant and are not targeted, but they’re sometimes caught as bycatch. Due to their low fecundity, this species could become threatened if trawling activity increases in the region.
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