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 distinguish 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