Blacktip Shark Characteristics
The Blacktip Shark is a large shark, native to the continental and insular shelves of tropical and warm temperate seas around the world. The Blacktip shark is a large, stout shark which is grey in colour and normally has black-tipped fins. The Blacktip shark has a long, narrow, pointed snout, long gill slits, a large first dorsal fin and quite a large second dorsal fin.
Like its close relative the Spinner shark (C. brevipinna) the Blacktip shark is a fast swimming shark capable not only of breaching but also of rotating (spinning) several times before re-entering the water.
The Blacktip shark is non-aggressive and would be unlikely to attack humans without being provoked. There is some evidence of segregation with some populations showing separation between groups of adult males and non-pregnant females and pregnant females and young Blacktip sharks.
Blacktip Shark Diet
Blacktip sharks feed mainly on a wide range of bony fish including sardines, herring, mullet, jacks and Spanish mackerel. Blacktip sharks are also known to eat the young of other sharks including dusky sharks and some cephalopods (a mollusc class) and crustaceans (lobsters, crabs, shrimp, crayfish and barnacles).
Blacktip Shark Reproduction
The Blacktip shark is viviparous (the embryo develops inside the body of the mother, as opposed to outside in an egg) and has a yolk-sac placenta with 1 – 10 pups per litter. The gestation period is around 10 to 12 months and females are thought to breed every other year.
Blacktip Shark Conservation Status
The Blacktip shark is classed as ‘Vulnerable’. Its flesh is used fresh, dried or salted for consumption, its hide is used for leather and its liver for oil. It is occasionally taken as a game fish and often by shore anglers. It has not been indicated in unprovoked attacks against humans but is potentially dangerous.
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