AskDefine | Define dogfish

Dictionary Definition



1 primitive long-bodies carnivorous freshwater fish with a very long dorsal fin; found in sluggish waters of North America [syn: bowfin, grindle, Amia calva]
2 any of several small sharks [also: dogfishes (pl)]

User Contributed Dictionary



From dog + fish.


  1. Any of various small sharks, especially those from the families Scyliorhinidae, Dalatiidae and Squalidae.
  2. The bowfin.


small sharks of the Scyliorhinidae, Dalatiidae and Squalidae families

Extensive Definition

In freshwater lakes and rivers, "Dogfish" refers to a member of the Bowfin family.
The name dogfish, derived from a compound of "dog" and "fish", is applied to a number of small sharks found in the northeast Atlantic, Pacific, and Mediterranean, especially to those in the three families Scyliorhinidae, Dalatiidae and Squalidae. Although often used in reference to Scyliorhinus canicula, the name is applied only loosely and does not usually signify a close taxonomic relationship.
(Squalus acanthias) -- This small, slender shark has a flattened head and a snout that tapers to a blunt tip. It averages 2 1/2 to 3 feet in length with the largest growing to 4 feet or more. Records show that they can live from 25 to 30 years.
Its mouth is full of low, flat, grinding teeth like the smooth dogfish, but the spiny dogfish also possesses an extra set of small, very sharp teeth.
The spiny dogfish, Squalus acanthias, is the most common shark in the western Atlantic. It hunts both alone and in groups with other dogfish. It eats small fish, squid, and crustaceans, and has extremely strong jaws for crushing shells.
Dogfish are considered a nuisance by fishermen because they will latch on to almost anything put in the water, including human hands. Fishermen kill them when caught which, along with pollution, has contributed to a sharp decline in population in Puget Sound. It is now illegal to kill or mutilate them when caught even though at a time, they were considered a delicacy by Europeans.
Care must be taken when handling dogfish due to the two venomous spines at the back of both dorsal fins. The venom is not likely to cause major damage, but the wound can take months to heal.
dogfish in Arabic: كلب البحر
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