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Katran, or the Black Sea shark: description and distribution of fish

The shark of the Katran, or the Black Sea shark, belongs to the cartilaginous fish of the order Catramenoptera. The species was first described in 1758 by the scholar Carl Linnaeus.

The name is translated from Greek as a thorn or thorn and fishermen often call the individual a short-nosed prickly shark. This species is among the most common, and can be found in the waters of most oceans and seas around the world.

The animal is of particular interest for the food industry and sport fishing.

The shark of the Katran, or the Black Sea shark, belongs to the cartilaginous fish of the order Catramenoptera.

Read more: shark species.

This streamlined body shape helps the shark to move in the water very quickly, ahead of many representatives of water bodies. The whole shark is covered with small scales, which usually have a gray color, smoothly turning into white closer to the belly.

However, it is often possible to meet individuals whose sides are covered with small white spots of irregular shape. It is this type called spotted.

The head of the animal is flattened above and below, and the snout is pointed. The eyes are small, oval and barely visible when they are closed, which helps individuals to be less vulnerable to possible enemies.

In the mouth of each individual there are several rows of small and extremely sharp teeth, which are shaped like fangs.

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One of the features is the rapid replacement of teeth with their loss or grinding. When all teeth are grinded, new ones appear rather quickly in their place. This allows the predator to be always ready to hunt prey and tear it into small pieces for ease of use.

In the mouth of each individual, there are at least a hundred teeth.

In front of the rear and front fins, located on the back, there are spikes. In the first, the spike is high and almost reaches the height of the fin, in the second it is less pronounced, and its length is not more than 3 cm.

One of the features of this species, which allows to distinguish it from others, will be the absence of the anal fin, which is found in other similar fish.

For the speed of movement in water, the tail of the katran is very important, which performs the function of a balancer and a rudder when swimming. It is worth noting that the shark moves just lightning fast, leaving the victim no chance for salvation.

Fish katran widespread in many reservoirs. You can meet her in the oceans, the Indian and the Pacific, as well as in the waters of Australia, Japan and Argentina.

If we talk about the territory of Russia, you can find a shark katran in the Black Sea, where it feels quite comfortable.

The Bering Sea and the Sea of ​​Okhotsk are also rich in this kind of cartilage fish. There were cases when an individual was found near California.

An interesting feature of the fish is that it can migrate over very long distances. This was confirmed by tagging one shark, which was subsequently released in one place and caught at a distance of approximately 7 years.

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As a rule, the katran does not sail far into the open sea, but with an insufficient amount of food it can forget about caution and sail quite far away. Prefers an individual to live closer to the bottom, and in some cases you can find flocks of Katrans.

If the water temperature at the bottom is very low, the individuals rise closer to the surface.

It is noted that the species does not tolerate high and low water temperatures. For this reason, it can not be found in the cold waters of Antarctica and the hot climate of tropical waters.

If the upper layers of the reservoir become very hot, individuals can descend to a depth of more than 100 meters, where the comfortable temperature remains. There is also a large number of small fish, which also does not tolerate high temperatures.

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The short-headed prickly shark does not belong to the most dangerous marine predators, but its food is quite diverse. As a rule, she prefers small fish:

  • Salmon, flounder, mackerel and other small representatives of the depths of the sea become good food for katran.
  • The individual prefers to hunt for those representatives who live in packs.
  • The peculiarity of nutrition of individuals is that they do not swallow prey entirely, but prefer to grind it before eating.
  • With a shortage of small fish, the shark eats shrimp, jellyfish and crabs.

Despite the awesome appearance and more than a hundred teeth, animals often become prey to large birds. Especially often they are caught by seagulls, lifted above the surface of the water, conveyed to the shore in order to smash against the stones and peck.

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It is noted that the number of dolphins decreases every year in the reservoirs where the Katrans live. Scientists have concluded that sea dogs hunt dolphins in packs, because they alone can not cope with such a victim.

The life span of each individual in a natural reservoir is about 25 years. It can be attributed to long-lived.

Quite late the period of puberty begins. As a rule, an individual reaches 10−12 years before it reproduces offspring:

  • Duration of carrying babies is almost 24 months.
  • After that, the eggs that the female carries in the oviduct give birth to babies up to 25 cm long.
  • From 15 to 20 individuals appear at a time.
  • After birth, they are immediately ready to lead a lifestyle that is familiar to their parents.
  • For the birth of offspring, the female chooses a place where the depth is shallow to provide future offspring with easy prey in the form of fry and other small representatives.
  • When babies grow up a little and start demanding larger prey, the female takes them to the depth.
  • After 10−12 years, the entire life cycle is repeated.

An interesting feature of this species of cartilaginous fish will be that they choose a couple for their whole life and try to spend it with a partner. This is a rare feature for such individuals.

For lovers and professional fishermen, katran often becomes a real problem, as it damages nets and destroys the catch. In mid-1950, Japan even established an award for those fishermen who can catch this predator.

Currently, fish is considered valuable for the food and pharmaceutical industries. It has been established that in the liver of katran it is many times more valuable fat than in the liver of cod and other fish.

That is why the shark is appreciated. Its meat also has unique taste and beneficial properties for the human body.

Especially appreciated meat in Norway, where it is actively consumed, and also prefer to use katran eggs in cooking, which, according to scientists, contain several times more protein than chicken. However, not all countries are so common use of products from the barbed shark.

In most countries, its meat is served under the guise of other, more common fish. In addition to valuable fat, it contains many vitamins., for example, a large amount of retinol.

This makes the product even more valuable.

Currently, katran fish is considered valuable for the food and pharmaceutical industries.

The cartilages of individuals from which chondroprotectors are made for the treatment of various pathologies of the musculoskeletal system become useful for humans. Fins and heads are also appreciated because they secrete a sticky substance used to make glue.

The catch of the Black Sea shark is not large-scale, but at present the individual is included in the list of vulnerable animals, which in the coming years may completely disappear or greatly reduce their numbers. This is due to the fact that the period of gestation of babies is quite long, and their number decreases every year.

For humans, the Black Sea shark is not dangerous. For many centuries it is not known a single case when these animals attacked a man, although in the Black Sea they often intersect with people.

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