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Sandbar Shark

Threat Level:  low


Sandbar Shark




Scientific name...........Carcharhinus Plumbeus

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

Other common names............Thickskin shark, brown shark



One of the most notable feature of the Sandbar shark, is its strikingly tall first dorsal fin. It can be more than one-tenth of the length of this sizable shark, which usually reaches 6.6 feet in length. They have a streamlined body with a broad flattened head, with a moderately long rounded snout. They are a greyish or brownish color, interdorsal ridge present, and are very strong swimmers.


  • SIZE

Sandbar pups are born at 22 to 29.4 inches long, mature at 4.9 to 5.9 feet and reach a length of 6.6 to 8 feet long.



They have high triangular saw-edged upper teeth, which helps them to cut up their prey.



Their gray or brown above and belly is white, the dorsal and tail fins both have dusky upper edges. No obvious markings, white band on flank inconspicuous.



The sandbar shark eats many fishes, including menhaden, eels, flatfish, other sharks, goatfish, skates, octopus squid, and crustaceans.



Some stocks migrate seasonally, often in large schools, as water temperatures change. Young form mixed-sex schools on shallow coastal nursery grounds, moving into deeper, warmer water in winter. Adults are segregated from juveniles ( to reduce cannibalism? ) sexes usually also separate except when mating in spring and summer. Males apparently follow and bite the female in the back until they swim upside down, then mate with both claspers. Mating wounds found on females during mating season. They feed slightly more actively at night.



Sandbar sharks live in tropical and temperate waters in Western and eastern Atlantic, western Indian Ocean, western, eastern, and central Pacific. They are commonly found in bays, harbours and at river mouths, also offshore in adjacent deep water and on oceanic banks. They can be found behind the surf zone on sandy beaches or at depths as great as 1,300 feet. These sharks prefer to swim near the bottom, often in large bays and estuaries, but do not move into fresh water.



These sharks are viviparious, yolk-sac placenta. Mating occurs from spring through early summer, and females carry the developing young for 9 to 12 months. They retreat to shallow nursery grounds to give birth to 8 to 12 young, depending on the size of the mother. Pups are about 8.6 inches long at birth.



Considered not dangerous



Common, but declining in some regions, because of overfishing. According to the IUCN the Sandbar sharks are severely overfished in the western North Atlantic where meat and fins are extremely valuable.


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