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Silvertip Shark

Threat Level:  low

 

 

 

  • SILVERTIP SHARK

Scientific name........Carcharhinus Albimarginatus

Family name............ Carcharhinidae

Other common names.......Silvertip whaler

 

  • GENERAL DESCRIPTION

Silvertip sharks are fairly large and slender sharks, dark gray in color. Their common name is derived from the distinctive white tips and margins on all their fins. The pectoral fins are narrow and pointed, and the first dorsal fin is narrowly rounded. Apart from these features, they look like many of the other gray requiem sharks that are commonly found out beyond the reef edge in warm tropical waters.

 

  • SIZE

Silvertips can reach a maximum length of 10 feet. Males mature at 5.2 to 5.9 feet while females mature at 5.2 to 6.5 feet. Pups are born at 25 to 27 inches in length.

 

  • TEETH

The teeth of silvertips are similar to those of other species that belong to the genus Carcharhinus. They are strongly serrated and narrowly pointed in the lower jaw, and sharp, serrated, and oblique in the upper jaw. They are ideal for catching and cutting the fish that they feed on.

 

  • COLOR

Dark gray, sometimes bronze-tinged, white below, striking white tips and trailing edges on all fins.

 

  • FEEDING HABITS

This shark feeds upon fish such as reef wrasses and in open water, tuna and flyingfish.

 

  • SENSES

Experiments conducted using underwater sound have shown that silvertips are attracted to low-frequency sounds, probably because these frequencies mimic the sound made by an injured fish, potentially an easy meal.

 

  • BEHAVIOUR

More aggressive than and dominant over ( Carcharhinus galapagensis ) and ( Carcharhinus limbatus ) sharks. Often follows boats. Solitary, pairs or aggregations of silvertip sharks are observed and they do not display defined sexual segregation. They do exhibit some size-related segregation, with the habitat "preferences" of juveniles overlapping little with those of the adults.

 

  • HABITAT

They are widespread in tropics from East Africa to Panama; not in the Atlantic. These sharks prefer offshore islands, coral reefs, and banks, from surface to 1,968.5 feet to 2,624.6 feet. However they also enter lagoons, and it is here that you will encounter them often. They are not oceanic. Young in shallower water close to shore, adults more wide ranging.

 

  • REPRODUCTION

Silvertip sharks are viviparous, females usually have 5 to 6 pups to a litter, but there can be as much as 11. The young hatch after 12 months.

 

  • SHARK ATTACKS

Given their size and their aggressive behaviour, you should always treat them with caution and respect. They have been known to harass divers, but reports of them actually attacking people are rare. When food is present, all size classes may make close, persistent approaches and large adults have even chased divers out of the water. There has been one reported shark bite incident.

 

  • POPULATION REPORT

Common in some areas. Even remote populations are likely highly vulnerable to target fisheries for meat or fins, particularly if limited dispersion between sites.

 

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