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Blacktip Shark


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 months.


  • 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 lives.


  • 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.




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