A-z - Animals

Cookie Shark

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Cookie sharks are dogfish.

Dogfish have two dorsal fins. Dogfish usually have five to seven gill slits on each side. They also typically lack anal fins.

5 Incredible Cookiecutter Shark Facts

  • These sharks have the largest teeth of any shark species anywhere. Like all sharks, it loses teeth and grows new ones throughout its life.
  • The liver makes up 35% of a shark's body weight. The liver contains low-density lipids that help the shark float.
  • The shark's belly is covered with light, giving the shark an eerie green glow. The glow lasts up to 3 hours after the shark dies.
  • These sharks are parasitic. They often bite a cookie-shaped hole in much larger fish.
  • These sharks bit through the submarine. They bite through soft areas such as cables and rubber sonar domes.

Cookie shark taxonomy and scientific name

The cookie shark's scientific name is Isistius brasiliensis . There are two types of cookie sharks. Isistius brasiliensis is known as the cookie shark, while Isistius plutodus is known as the great cookie shark. They are members of the genus Isistius .

All of these sharks are members of the Dalatiidae family. This family is often referred to as the kite fin shark family. They are also members of the dogfish order, which includes more than 125 species of fish. Like other fish whose spines are mainly made of cartilage, they belong to the order Chondrichthyes. They belong to the Phylum Chordate and Kingdom Animalia.

Cookie Shark Species

There are two types of these sharks. Only about 10 cookie sharks have been caught, so not much is known about them.

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Scientists believe that the cookie shark's teeth were larger than those of the cookie shark, especially in the lower jaw. They also believed that the big tooth shark was a weaker swimmer than the cookie shark. They all live in different parts of the globe.



These sharks are light brown in color. It is elongated and resembles a cigar, which is why it is often called the cigar shark. This shark has a short, blunt snout and large eyes. It has two spineless dorsal fins and a large caudal fin.

Covering the underside of the shark is the luminous body. This makes the fish appear to glow when viewed from the bottom. After the shark dies, it will continue to glow for about 3 hours.

Female sharks are larger than males. Males average 14 inches long, while females average 16 inches.

cookie cutter
cookie shark head

© Karsten Harte / public domain / Wikimedia Commons – License

Cookie Shark Distribution, Population and Habitat

These sharks are found all over the world. The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists this species as Least Concern. There are no exact figures for how many of these sharks exist around the world.

cookie shark predator and prey

Cookie cutters prey on almost all marine life. They close their sucker-like lips against their prey, sort of like kissing it. It then uses its pointed teeth and powerful jaws to get a better grip on its prey. Finally, it uses its upper teeth and lower jaw to remove a large piece from the animal. The bite size for most teeth and jaws is approximately 2 inches wide and 2.75 inches high.

This type of shark mark is found on many different animals, including dolphins, porpoises, whales, seals, sharks, stingrays and bony fish.

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Additionally, these sharks have eaten squid that are as big as them. They swallow these animals whole.

Cookie Shark Reproduction and Lifespan

Scientists are not sure how long the gestation period of these sharks is. Baby sharks are called pups. They live inside their mother's womb. Six to 12 pups were born at one time, each measuring between 5.5 and 5.9 inches at birth. Each baby was in a rather large sac, leading scientists to speculate that the shark had a long gestation period.

Some animals eat these sharks, although they may eventually lose parts of their bodies. These animals include bony fish and sharks larger than them.

Cookie Shark in Fishing and Cooking

With the exception of a few accidental catches, these sharks are not targets of recreational or commercial anglers.

Cookie Shark Population

No one has an accurate count of these sharks.

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Cookiecutter Shark FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is Cookie Shark?

The cookie shark is a cigar-looking shark that measures about 14-22 inches in length. These sharks are unique in that they bite sea creatures much larger than themselves. When they bite, they leave behind a distinctive cookie-cutter shape.

Are Cookie Sharks Dangerous?

Few cookie cutter sharks attack humans. Part of the reason for the lack of attack is that they spend most of their day about 2.3 miles below the seafloor.

Cookie sharks can be dangerous to other items. For example, they are known to attack nuclear submarines. In that case, they try to eat rubber hoses and wires.

Cookie sharks can also pose a threat to other marine life. They are parasitic sharks that use their strong mouths and jaws to attach themselves to animals larger than themselves. Then, they tear off the pieces with their teeth. The result is a hole that looks like it was cut out with a cookie cutter.

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Do cookie sharks eat their own teeth?

Yes, cookie cutter sharks eat their teeth. About 27 teeth appear regularly as a whole. Then, the shark swallowed them. Some scientists believe the sharks swallow the teeth for the calcium in them, since the waters they live in may be lacking in nutrients.

Then the pie-cutter regrown its teeth, and the whole process started all over again.

Can a cookie shark bite through a submarine?

No, cookie sharks cannot bite through the hull of a submarine. They can harm submarines in other ways. For example, they have been reported eating rubber and other soft materials outside the submarine.

What eats cookie sharks?

Larger sharks and large bony fish eat cookie sharks, although they may be bitten in the process.

What does a cookie shark look like?

Cookie sharks have a cigar shape. Most of their body is brown, but they have a distinct vertical stripe that is light brown in color. Additionally, they have a light brown color around the gill area.

The belly of this shark is covered with luminophores, which emit a green glow on the shark's belly. All fins except the caudal fin have light-coloured edges. This fin has a black tip.

How big is a cookie shark?

Cookie sharks grow between 14 and 22 inches. Females are 20% larger than males.

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source
  1. Fishbase, available here: http://www.fishbase.us/summary/SpeciesSummary.php?ID=696&AT=Ciookie%20cutter%20shark
  2. We love sharks, available here: https://welovesharks.club/species-profile-the-cookiecutter-shark/
  3. Wikipedia, available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isistius
  4. Mentalfloss, available here: https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/57124/14-facts-about-cookiecutter-shark
  5. Wonderopolis, available here: https://wonderopolis.org/wonder/how-dangerous-is-the-cookiecutter-shark
  6. Florida Museum, available here: https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/discover-fish/species-profiles/isistius-brasiliensis/
  7. Shark Keeper, available here: http://sharkkeeper.com/cookiecutter-shark-facts-amazing-features/#Threats_and_Conservation