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Australian Wildlife

  Blacktip Reef Shark (Carcharhinus melanopterus)





Blacktip Reef Shark | Carcharhinus melanopterus photo
Blacktip Reef Shark

Image by Gab01 - Some rights reserved.    (view image details)



BLACKTIP REEF SHARK FACTS

Description
The Blacktip Reef Shark brownish is a small shark with bluntly rounded snout. It is yellow to grey above with white underside. There is a dark stripe running from under the first dorsal fin to above the ventral fin. The first dorsal fin and lower tail fin lobe have black tips. There is sometimes a white band below the black tip on the dorsal fin. The other fins have smaller black tips.

Size
length to 1.8m, although rarely seen longer than 1.4m in Australian waters. Weight to 14kg

Habitat
The Blacktip Reef Shark frequents shallow water around coral reefs, reef flats, reef drop-offs, mangroves. Occurs singly or in small schools.

Food
mainly fish. Also feeds on crustaceans, cephalopods, molluscs

Breeding
Viviparous. Gives birth to litters of 2 to 4 pups. Young are 46cm - 52cm at birth.

Range
The Blacktip Reef Shark is found in shallow marine waters throughout the tropical Indo-West and Central Pacific. In Australia it is found from the central coast of Western Australia, round the top end and down the Queensland coast to southern Queensland.

Notes
It is not generally considered dangerous to people because of its small size, but it may become aggressive to spear fishers, and there have reports of bites to people wading in shallow water.



Classification
Class:Chondrichthyes
Order:Carcharhiniformes
Family:Carcharhinidae
Genus:Carcharhinus
Species:melanopterus
Common Name:Blacktip Reef Shark

Relatives in same Genus
  Grey Whaler Shark (C. amblyrhynchos)
  Silky Shark (C. falciformis)
  Bull Shark (C. leucas)
  Dusky Shark (C. obscurus)