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Spinner Shark




Scientific name...........Carcharhinus Brevipinna

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

Other common names.........Blacktipped shark, Longnose gray shark, Great blacktipped shark.



The Spinner shark is a large, shark with a slender body, long, pointed snout and small eyes. It is named for its agile and fast swimming behaviours such as leaping and spinning displayed during feeding. The Spinner shark gets confused with the Blacktip shark, because of common physical characteristics. The most obvious difference is the position of the first dorsal fin which is closer to the anterior part of the body in Spinner sharks, and is located behind the pectoral fins, where as the first dorsal fin of the Blacktip is closer to the midsection of the body. In the Spinner shark the first dorsal fin is slightly curved and has a short rear tip. The second dordal fin, also with a short rear tip. The Spinner shark does not have an interdorsal ridge. The narrow, curved pectoral fins have pointed or rounded tips, and the slender caudal fin has a narrow rounded tip.


  • SIZE

Spinner sharks can reach a maximum length of 9.8 feet, weighting up to 198 pounds. Although the average size of these sharks are approximately 6.4 feet, weighting about 123 pounds.



The Spinner shark has 15 to 16 narrow, triangular teeth in the upper and lower jaw. The edge of the lower jaw has a distinct notch, and the teeth of the lower jaw are more slender. The tips of the teeth are not recurved forward, but slightly oblique.



They are a gray to bronze in color on the dorsal, fading to a white on the ventral, with a faint white band on the sides. The second dorsal, anal and pectoral fins, as well as the lower lobe of the caudal fin have black or dark gray tips in large juveniles and adults. The pelvic, first dorsal and dorsal caudal lobe may also have black tips, but not always. The fins are unmarked in young individuals.



The spinner shark feeds primarily on pelagic fishes including pounders, sardines, herrings, anchovies, sea catfish, stingrays, squid, and octopus. The spinner sharks feeds by rapidly swimming through schools of fish, spinning and leaping while snapping its jaws.



This is an active schooling shark. Vertical feeding runs through fish schools end with a spinning leap out of the water. Highly migratory in Gulf of Mexico ( and possibly elsewhere ). They move inshore in spring-summer to feed and breed, possibly south and into deeper water in winter. Some segregation by age and sex, young prefer lower water temperatures.



World-wide in tropical seas. Coastal-pelagic on continental and insular shelves, common close inshore from ( 0 to 326 feet ) from the surface to the bottom.



Spinner sharks are viviparous, yolk-sac placenta, giving birth to 3 to 15 pups per litter ( increasing with female size ) born every other year. After birth pups move shallow waters for protection from predators.



The spinner shark is not dangerous to humans unless provoked.



Common, but inshore distribution vulnerable to fishing pressure and habitat change.


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