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Caribbean Sharpnose Shark
Threat Level: low
The Caribbean Sharpnose Shark is
also known as Sharpnose shark
and Snook shark.
- CARIBBEAN SHARPNOSE SHARK
Scientific Name.... Rhizoprionodon Porosus
Family Name...... Carcharhinidae
- General Information: The Caribbean sharpnose
shark like other Rhizoprionodon species, is a small, slender shark,
with a long, parabolic snout, and relatively large eyes adjacent
to the tip of the mouth. The first dorsal fin is much larger than
the second, and the pectoral and small pelvic fins are short.
- Size: The average size of these sharks are
34 inches and the maximum reported size is 43 inches. Pups measure
about 12-14 inches in length.
- Teeth: The caribbean sharpnose sharks teeth
are triangular with smooth edged cusps, with a distinct notch
along the outer margins. The teeth are similar in upper and lower
jaws, numbering 12 teeth on either side of the symphysial tooth
in the upper jaw and 12 teeth on each side of the lower jaw.
- Color: The upper surface of the body is brown
or grayish-brown in color, fading to a white underside. Occasionally,
this shark will be marked with white spots along the flank region.
The fins have either white or clear margins.
- Feeding Habits: This species feeds on a variety
of small fishes, and invertebrates such as snails, squid and shrimp.
It is a common prey for larger sharks especially of the juveniles.
- Habitat | Migration | Distribution: Caribbean
sharpnose sharks range in the western Atlantic Ocean from the
Caribbean region, including the Bahamas, south to Uruguay. They
are common inhabitant of shallow inshore waters along continental
and island shelves. It frequents sea-grass beds, coral reefs,
and can tolerate the reduced salinity of estuaries. It is also
reported to live in offshore waters to depths of 1,640 feet, although
more commonly in depths less than 328 feet.
- Reproduction: The Caribbean sharpnose shark
is viviparous with a yolksac placenta. Gestation takes about 10-11
months, with litters of 2-6 pups, about 1 inch in length, and
are born in the spring or early summer.
- Caribbean Sharpnose Shark Attacks: This shy,
harmless shark usually avoids contact with humans, primarily due
to its small size and preference for small prey items.
- Population Report: Usually common.