Blamed for hundreds of deaths over the course of recorded history, welcome the fearsome oceanic white tipped shark. These sharks are known for attacking humans by first bumping them then attacking. As formidable as they are though, they are also at risk of extinction due to over fishing and finning. Once again humans are playing a role in the livelihood of animals far and wide. The IUCN lists these sharks as Critically Endangered.
First the Stats…
Scientific name: Carcharhinus longimanus
Weight: Up to 370 lbs.
Length: Up to 13 feet
Lifespan: Up to 19 years
Now on to the Facts!
1.) They are both nocturnal (active at night) and diurnal (active during the day) hunters.
2.) These sharks, even though capable of fast bursts of speed, are typically slow swimmers.
3.) Oceanic white tips are usually found along the equator in subtropical and tropical waters around the world.
4.) Even though they have been observed in water as shallow as 120 feet, they prefer deep water.
5.) Appearing at first to be a feeding frenzy, upon closer examination, it can be seen that the sharks are thrashing about to ball prey up and are actually taking turns eating.
But wait, there’s more on the oceanic white tipped shark!
6.) Due to their supposed delicious meat, these sharks are typically over fished.
7.) Between 1969 – 2003, there has been nearly a 70% decline in their numbers and the numbers keep growing each year. Between environmental pressures, the practice of finning, and a slow reproduction rate, oceanic white tips are under the threat of becoming extinct!
Did you know…?
In 1945 the USS Indianapolis was torpedoed and whitetip sharks attacked and killed nearly 800 soldiers, floating in the ocean!
8.) Jacques Cousteau once stated that the most fearsome shark in the ocean is the white tipped shark, due to their unpredictable nature and agile hunting skills.
9.) They mate during the early summer months in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean and the southwestern Indian Ocean.
10.) These sharks are viviparous (pups develop inside the mother and are born live). Embryos are nourished by a placental yolk-sac attached to the uterine wall by umbilical cords. After a 10 – 12 month gestation period, 1 – 15 pups are born.
Now a Short Oceanic White Tipped Shark Video!
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