Blacktipped Shark

The Facts

  • Genus/Species: Carcharhinus limbatus
  • Conservation Status: Near Threatened
  • Location: Worldwide distribution in tropical and subtropical waters, mostly in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans and the Western and Eastern Pacific Oceans.

Blacktipped Shark
Blacktipped Shark

The Scoop

Fast, Energetic Predator

The blacktip shark inhabits shallow coastal waters near coral reefs as well as estuaries and offshore surface waters. Their favored habitats are muddy bays and island lagoons. During summer some blacktip sharks migrate to cooler waters. This shark gets its name from the pointed snout and black tips on its fins. Blacktip sharks are very social and mostly found in large groups. They tend to be very shy and timid towards other predators.

The blacktip shark can grow up to 8 feet in length - or as long as two 4 year old kids lying head to toe in a straight line. It can weigh up to 300 lbs which is as much as the weight of three thirteen year old boys taken together.  The blacktip shark is an extremely fast, energetic predator. With a sleek body and speedy tail, it sneaks up on its prey with ease. It feeds mainly on fish but supplement its diet with skates, stingrays, squids, and some crustaceans. A small group of blacktip sharks often hunt down schools of fish together. They work together to enclose the fish into a tight ball and then attack the trapped prey. Coastal development and commercial fishing are the main threats faced by blacktip sharks. In spite of this, their population has remained fairly stable.


Did You Know? 

  • The blacktip shark can leap out of the water and spin three to four times before landing.
  • When threatened, blacktip sharks form an S-Shape with their bodies and roll from side to side.
  • Blacktip sharks must swim constantly with their mouths open, allowing oxygen-rich water to flow over the gills or breathing structures.
  • Blacktip sharks don’t have a swim bladder like bony fishes so they will sink to the bottom if they stop swimming.


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