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Threat Level: low
Scientific name.......Rhizoprionodon Acutus
One of the most common small requiem species is the milk shark. They have a long, slender body, a parabola-like snout and relatively large eyes near the tip of the mouth. The first dorsal fin is much larger than the second dorsal fin. The pectoral fins are short and stout, and the pelvic fins are small. Long labial folds at the corners of the mouth distingush the milk shark from all other requiem sharks in its range.
The maximum size of milk sharks are around 6 feet, smaller individuals about 3.6 feet. Females reach sexual maturity when about two years old and about 2 1/2 feet long. They measure about 10 inches long at birth.
They have oblique narrow triangular smooth-edged teeth.
Milk sharks are a brownish red to gray with a white underbelly, most fin tips slightly pale; juvenile dorsal and upper caudal fin tips dark ( sometimes in adults ).
Their diet consists of small fishes ( herring, sardines, croaker, mojarra, and flatfish ) and invertibrates ( squid, octopus, snails, shrimp, and crabs ). They are a major food source for large sharks.
They seem to spend most of their time in small groups or large schools foraging for food near the bottom.
Milk sharks are found in Eastern Atlantic, Indo-West Pacific, also Mediterranean Sea ( Gulf of Taranto off Italy ). They are found in large numbers in coastal areas and continental shelves to depths of 655 feet. Often off sandy beaches, sometimes in estuaries ( not very low salinity ).
These sharks are viviparous, with yolk-sac placenta, and produce one to eight pups per litter ( usually two to five ), after one year gestation period.
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