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Oceanic whitetip shark

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Oceanic whitetip shark
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Scientific Classification
Binomial name

Carcharhinus longimanus

Carcharhinus longimanus is also known as the Oceanic whitetip shark. As the name implies, this species occupies an exclusively marine habitat and possesses characteristic white-tipped fins including its dorsal fin, making them easy to identify when on the surface. They are also quite dangerous and responsible for many attacks on shipwreck victims.

Contents

Anatomy

Unidentified shark mouth.

The Oceanic Whitetip Sharks fins have a whitetip which is why they are called the whitetip shark. The front dorsal fin is broad and rounded, and the pectoral fins are large paddles. [1] The oceanic whitetip shark is also a stocky and heavy set animal. The shark can grow up to 4 meters (13 feet). The body of the shark is a dark grey or olive gray color. The upper teeth of the shark are triangular with serrated edges, the lower teeth have narrow serrated cusps. [2]

Reproduction

The mating season is said to occur in early summer in the northwest Atlantic Ocean and in the southwest Indian Ocean. The gestation period is around 12 months, which is 3 more months longer than us humans. Some of the females that have been captured in the Pacific Ocean have been found with some embryos year round, which lead people to think that the mating season in this region is longer. The litter size is from 1 to 15 depending on the size of the mother. [3]

Ecology

Swimming near the surface of the water.

HABITAT: The oceanic whitetip shark is found all over in deep, open water, where the temperature is greater than 64.4° F. The shark likes the temperature to be around 68 and 82.4° F, but the shark will not go in areas where the temperature falls below the temperature they like. There have been recent studies saying that these once extremely common and widely distributed sharks have drastically declined in numbers. [4]

FOOD: The oceanic whitetip shark feeds on fast moving fish such as tuna, barracuda and white marlin, but the shark will also eat squid, turtles, seabirds, and even garbage. [5]

Behavior

Oceanic whitetip shark and a diver.

The Oceanic Whitetip shark tends to move slowly near the top of the water column. The shark covers vast stretches of water looking for possible food. The sharks tend to follow pods of pilot whales due to their ability to find squid. The whitetip shark exhibits a dog-like behavior when its interest is piqued. Most sharks are pretty fast but not the Whitetip shark. They may not be fast but they are capable of surprising bursts of speed. The shark will also swim to the top of the surface to stick their noses out of the water to sniff the air to find food over greater distances.[6]

Relations with divers

Like most other sharks, the oceanic whitetip shark will circle swimmers and divers. They will do this if they think they might have a meal. When around these animals you want to use extreme caution. This type of shark is responsible for many attacks on shipwreck victims. [7]

Gallery

References

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