Fig. 1: Sevengill Global Distribution Map
Species: N. cepedianus
Broadnose sevengill sharks, Notorynchus cepedianus, are the only extant members of the genus Notorynchus, in the family Hexanchidae. Notorynchus comes from two Greek words meaning ‘back’ and ‘snout’ and cepedianus is Latin for ‘spotted.’ They are recognizable because of their 7 gill slits, while most shark species have 5 gill slits, with the exception of the members of the Order Hexanchiformes which have 6.
These sharks are gray or brownish with spots, and have top jaws with jagged cusped teeth and bottom jaws with comb shaped teeth. This adaptation allows these sharks to eat other sharks, rays, fish, seals, and carrion. These sharks live in temperate areas up to at least 135 m (450 ft) deep and have only attacked humans in captivity. These sharks are ovoviviparous, bearing live young. They grow up to 300 cm (10 feet) long.