Horn Shark

Horn Shark

Heterodontus francisci


This shark is named for the venomous horns on its dorsal fins.

Exhibit Name and Location:
Baltimore - North Atlantic to the Pacific

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Horn Shark

The horn shark gets its name because it has a short venomous "horn" in front of each of its dorsal fins for protection. The horn shark is typically a brownish color, covered in black spots, and its underbelly has a yellowish tint.


The horn shark eats small fish and invertebrates.


38–47 inches long


Cold waters of the eastern Pacific; found inhabiting the coastal areas from Southern California to the Gulf of California and areas around Ecuador and Peru

Population Status

The horn shark is not a species of concern.


Larger sharks and marine mammals

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A Note From the Caretaker

These sharks reproduce by depositing a unique spiral-shaped egg casing, which they wedge between rocks.

Sleepover With the Sharks

National Aquarium - Immersion Tours

Learn About Sleepover With the Sharks

Sharks will be lurking close by as you attempt to sleep through the night!