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TYPES OF SHARKS
SHARK CHAT FORUM
Threat Level: medium
The Blacktip Shark
is also known as Blackfin shark,
spotfin shark, and black-tipped shark.
- BLACKTIP SHARK
Scientific Name.... Carcharhinus Limbatus
Family Name...... Carcharhiniformes
- General Information: The blacktip shark gets
its name from the black markings on the tips of the dorsal and
pectoral fins and the lower lobe of the tail fin. They are a stout-bodied
with a moderately long and pointed snout. The blacktip is very
similar to the Spinner shark and is often confused for one another,
they have similar markings and similar range.
- Size: The average size of an adult blacktip
shark is approximately 4.10 feet, but some have reported a maximum
length of 9 feet long. Their weight is around 40-45 pounds. At
birth they range from 10-22 inches long.
- Teeth: The blacktip sharks teeth are moderately
long and narrowly pointed with a broad base. Although the upper
and lower teeth are similar in shape the upper teeth are more coarsely
serrated than the lower teeth which have fine serrations.
- Color: The color of blacktip shark is a gray
or gray-brown above and along the sides to a white underbelly
and a white anal fin. A subtle white band runs along the side
of the body. The black tips found on the pectoral fins, first
and second dorsals, pelvic fins, and lower caudal lobe are very
apparent, although they tend to fade with age.
- Feeding Habits: The blacktip sharks diet consists
of small schooling fishes such as anchovies, sardines, menhaden,
herring and mullet. They are also known to consume bottom dwelling
fishes , crustaceans, and squid. They are often seen near shore
jumping out of the water during feeding.
- Social Behaviour: This species does an amazing
leaps out of the water, twisting in the air when chasing schools
of fish, sometimes spinning in the air up to three or four times
around their axis and often curls its body at the top of the jump.
This behaviour is thought to facilitate the sharks' predatory success
while feeding on schools of fish near the surface.
- Habitat | Migration | Distribution: They are
worldwide in tropical and subtropical waters. They live at the
surface above continental and island shelves, but will also frequent
shallows along sand beaches , bays, and rocky coastlines in warmer
- Life Span: The maximum age of blacktip sharks
is thought to be 12-14 years.
- Reproduction: This species are viviparous meaning
they give birth to live free-swimming pups. Gestation period is
from 10-11 months and the females giving birth from 4 to 8 pups,
with larger female giving birth to larger litters. Females give
birth in late spring and early summer in shallow often turbid
coastal waters where the young remain for the first years of their
- Swimming: They are relatively fast swimmers
especially when hunting for prey.
- Blacktip Shark Attacks: They will usually avoid
humans, often coming close to the shore in groups chasing schools
of fish where bathers have gathered unaware of their presence.
Divers regularly see blacktips inshore. As long as there is no
food present, they do not generally present a hazard.
- Population Report: They are presently common.