Earning its name from the white tips on its dorsal and upper tail fins, the whitetip reef shark is a slender and agile reef predator. They can be found as far west as South Africa and all the way east around Central America. With their slender bodies they easily navigate the ocean reefs looking for a tasty meal. Whitetip reef sharks aren’t typically aggressive towards us humans. That being said, if you’re spearfishing, they may not take a liking to you stealing their prey. Due to overfishing, finning, bycatch (getting caught in gill nets and long lines), habitat destruction, and climate change these sharks are listed as Near Threatened by the IUCN.
First the Stats…
Scientific name: Triaenodon obesus
Weight: Up to 22 lbs.
Length: Up to 5.3 feet
Lifespan: Up to 25 years
Now on to the Facts!
1.) Whitetips are requiem sharks (sharks from the family Carcharhinidae in the order Carcharhiniformes, that are migratory, live-bearing sharks that reside in warm seas).
3.) Whitetip reef sharks are preyed upon by tiger sharks and giant groupers.
4.) These sharks are nocturnal (active at night).
5.) During the day, these cool sharks sleep in reef caves in large groups, kind of wedged into the cave.
But wait, there’s more on the whitetip reef shark!
6.) They have been around for about 42 million years.
7.) Unless cornered and/or provoked the whitetip will typically flee from divers.
Did you know…?
Whitetips are regarded as guardian spirits called “aumakua,” in several Hawaiian traditions.
8.) The whitetip reef shark is placental viviparous (A mode of reproduction in where the female gives birth to live young which had previously developed a yolksac placenta.).
Now a Short Whitetip Reef Shark Video!
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