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Blacktip Reef Shark

The blacktip reef shark (Carcharhinus melanopterus) inhabits tropical and warm temperate seas. They are pelagic sharks meaning that they spend their entire lives swimming in the water column as opposed to resting on the bottom. They must always remain in motion in order to respire valuable dissolved oxygen from the water.

Size: The blacktip reef shark can reach up to six and a half feet in length.

Life Span: 12 to 25 years

Color: The body of this shark type is a bluish-gray color.

Range: Pacific and Indian Oceans

Habitat: The blacktip reef shark is very common in the coral reefs and shallow lagoons of the tropical Indian and Pacific Oceans. They are also beginning to enter the Mediterranean.

Food: The sharks most commonly feed on snakes and reef fish.

Reproduction: The blacktip reef shark has litters of two to four pups after a 16-month gestation period. They most commonly give birth in November and they give birth to live young.

Fun Facts: With a sleek body and speedy tail, the blacktip reef shark sneaks up on prey with ease. Cruising coastlines in large schools, blacktip reef sharks often jump out of the water during a feeding frenzy of schools of fish, rays and even small sharks.