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Whitetip reef shark

The Whitetip reef shark, Triaenodon obesus, is a requiem shark of the family Carcharhinidae, the only member of the genus Triaenodon. The Whitetip reef shark is one of the most common sharks found in shallow tropical and warm temperate water around coral reefs in the Indian and Pacific oceans. It occurs at depths down to 1082.68 ft (330 m).

As its name suggests, the tips of the shark’s first dorsal fin and upper caudal fin are white. The upper body is grey-brownish in color. Their average length is about 55.12 to 62.99 in (140 to 160 cm) and the maximum reported length is 96.06 in (244 cm). Its head is broad and flat. The Whitetip reef shark feeds primarily on crustaceans, octopuses and fish.

This bottom dwelling shark is nocturnal and is often seen resting on the bottom during the day, sometimes in small groups. It is not aggressive and will generally swim away if disturbed, although it may bite if harassed. At night it hunts among crevices in the reef.

Reproduction is viviparous, with 1 to 5 pups in a litter, the gestation period being at least 5 months. The shark’s size at birth ranges from 19.69 to 23.62 in (50 to 60 cm). It is estimated that this shark can live for about 25 years and it reaches maturity after about 5 years.

Whitetip reef shark


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