Horn Shark

Horn Shark

Heterodontus francisci

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

Did You Know?

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


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.

National Aquarium - Immersion Tours

Sleepover with the Sharks

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

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