About This Fish


The tope (Galeorhinus galeus) is a cartilaginous fish which is also known as Soupfin shark. It belongs to the family Triakidae under order Carcharhiniformes of class Elasmobranchii. It is distributed in southern Brazil to Argentina, Iceland, Faroe Islands and Great Britain, Mediterranean sea, Senegal and other areas of the western coast of Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Laysan Islands, British Columbia to southern Baja California, Peru and Chile.

The Tope is a solitary shallow water shark which is found mainly on or near the bottom over gravel or sand. It is a large houndshark with a long pointed snout. Mouth is large with small blade-like teeth. Dorsal surface of the body is bronze to grey-brown while the ventral surface is whitish pale in color. It has large horizontally oval shaped eye. First dorsal fin is broadly triangular which originates over or slightly behind the free rear end of the pectoral fin. Second dorsal fin is much smaller than first one and it is located just opposite to the anal fin. Spiracle is present and well developed. Anal fin is approximately equal to second dorsal fin. It has no inter-dorsal ridge and pre-caudal pits. Sub-terminal notch on upper caudal fin lobe is large. It is very opportunistic predator and feeds on both bottom-living and pelagic species. Its food consists mostly of fish, chiefly gadoids such as whiting, pouting and codling and flatfishes such as dabs, soles and flounder and other items such as dragonets, crustaceans and echinoderms. The male reaches sexual maturity at the age of 8 years while female at 11 years. The female gives birth to 6 to 52 pups per liter. A new born is 30-40 cm long at birth. It grows to maximum 193 cm in length and 45 kg in weight. It can live up to 55 years.

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