Blacktip reef shark (Carcharhinus melanopterus)
·Conservation status: IUCN* listed as ‘Near Threatened’
·Their common name comes from their distinct dorsal fins with black or dark brown tips.
·They grow to about 1.6 meters (5.25 ft) in length.
·They range throughout the tropical Pacific, including French Polynesia, Indonesia, and Australia; and are often seen in shallow parts of the reef and mangroves, moving in and out with the tides.
·They give birth to live young and only have about two to four pups at a time.
·They eat mostly fish, and in the Maldives, they sometimes herd schooling fish into the shallows as a hunting method; and, they sometimes feed on sea snakes, for example, sea kraits.
·Researchers have observed blacktip reef sharks being mortally rammed by giant trevally, a species of jack, in shallows of Palau, Micronesia. The purpose of these attacks is still unknown.
·Although they are one of the most common species seen by divers and can be inquisitive, they usually keep their distance unless food or bait is present.
Information provided by the SharksCount program. Find out more about citizen science for sharks at www.sharksavers.org/sharkscount.
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