black tip reef Sharks By: Rylee Vernatter

Scientific name

Carcharhinus melanopterus


The Blacktip Reef Shark is found in warm, shallow water near coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific and Mediterranean Sea with depths of up to 80 meters (262 feet)



Physical description

The blacktip shark has a stout, fusiform body with a pointed snout, long gill slits, and no ridge between the dorsal fins. Most individuals have black tips or edges on the pectoral, dorsal, pelvic, and caudal fins. It usually attains a length of 4.9 ft he lifespan is at least 12 years

Breeding info

In northern Australia mating usually occurs in January and February. Blacktip Reef Sharks are viviparous with a yolk sac placenta and give birth to 2-4 pups (usually four). This cycle would allow an 8-9-month gestation period. They generally breed every other year, but that this may be due to competition for food in the area because of its high shark population.

Unique anatomy

Most sharks are solo hunters, but blacktip reef sharks are among a few that will occasionally cooperate to catch prey. When these sharks find a school of reef fish, they’ll work together to circle their prey into a tight ball before attacking.


The Blacktip Reef Shark, also known as the Carcharhinus Limbatus, gets its name from the pointed snout and black tips on its fins (especially its dorsal fin). This is considered one of the most beautiful sharks in the Ocean and are seen often by divers since this species prefers shallow waters.


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