Scientific name........Carcharhinus Albimarginatus
Family name............ Carcharhinidae
Other common names.......Silvertip whaler
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
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.
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.
Dark gray, sometimes bronze-tinged, white below, striking white tips
and trailing edges on all fins.
This shark feeds upon fish such as reef wrasses and in open water,
tuna and flying fish.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
Common in some areas. Even remote populations are likely highly
vulnerable to target fisheries for meat or fins, particularly if
limited dispersion between sites.