World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0007175674
Reproduction Date:

Title: Isistius  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Cookiecutter shark, Squaliformes, Largetooth cookiecutter shark, Kitefin shark, Shark
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Temporal range: 56–0 Ma[1]
Thanetian to Present
Cookiecutter shark (I. brasiliensis)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Subclass: Elasmobranchii
Order: Squaliformes
Family: Dalatiidae
Genus: Isistius
T. N. Gill, 1865
Type species
Isistius brasiliensis
(Quoy & Gaimard, 1824)

Isistius is a genus of dogfish sharks in the family Dalatiidae. They are commonly known as cookiecutter sharks. Members of the genus are known for their unusual behaviour and dentition.[2]


  • Species 1
  • Habits 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4



The cookiecutter sharks, or 'cigar sharks' are noted as a genus of sharks that are unusual in the manner in which they replace their teeth. Instead of replacing teeth singly as they get damaged or lost, for example in hunting, such sharks replace the whole set. They can repeat such replacement throughout their lifetime.[3]

Cookiecutter sharks often attack large shoals of fish, but have been known to circle fishing vessels in order to get an easy meal. It is particularly notorious for biting small chunks off of a prey animal in passing. Large prey such as swordfish and cetaceans, may bear several healed wounds from such bites.[4]

Weaker prey may be injured enough to be weakened until they are unable to swim properly. They then are prone to sinking, enabling the Isistius to gorge. Isistius species can eat half of their own body weight at a time and are found in oceanic waters.

In unusual circumstances, cookiecutter sharks have been known to attack humans if they find them in their hunting grounds, and there even have been reports of their killing humans, circling them in great numbers while stripping their flesh.

See also


  1. ^ Sepkoski, Jack (2002). "A compendium of fossil marine animal genera (Chondrichthyes entry)". Bulletins of American Paleontology 364: 560. 
  2. ^ Jones, E. C. 1971. Isistius brasiliensis. a squaloid shark. the probable cause of crater wounds on fishes and cetaceans; Fish. Bull. 69.791-98.
  3. ^ Strasburg, Donald W.; The Diet and Dentition of Isistius brasiliensis, with Remarks on Tooth Replacement in Other Sharks; Copeia, Vol. 1963, No. 1, Mar. 30, 1963 (pp. 33-40) Published by: American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Stable URL:
  4. ^ Papastamatiou Yannis P., Wetherbee, Brad M., O'Sullivan, John, Goodmanlowe Gwen D. Lowe, Christopher G.; Foraging ecology of Cookiecutter Sharks (Isistius brasiliensis) on pelagic fishes in Hawaii, inferred from prey bite wounds.; Environmental Biology of Fishes, Volume 88, Number 4, 361-368, doi:10.1007/s10641-010-9649-2
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.