Carcharhinus limbatus

Spanish: Tiburón macuira

(Not to be confused with Black Tip Reef Shark)

The blacktip shark has a worldwide distribution in tropical and subtropical waters. In the Atlantic, it is found from Massachusetts to Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. In the eastern Pacific, it occurs from Baja California to Peru

Most blacktip sharks are found in water less than 30 m (100 ft) deep over continental and insular shelves, though they may dive to 64 m (210 ft). Favored habitats are muddy bays, island lagoons, and the drop-offs near coral reefs.

The blacktip shark has a robust, streamlined body with a long, pointed snout and relatively small eyes. The five pairs of gill slits are longer than those of similar requiem shark species. The jaws contain 15 tooth rows on either side. The teeth are broad-based with a high, narrow cusp and serrated edges. The first dorsal fin is tall and sickle-shaped with a short free rear tip; there is no ridge running between the first and second dorsal fins. The large Pectoral fin is pointed. The coloration is gray to brown above and white below, with a conspicuous white stripe running along the sides. The pectoral fins, second dorsal fin, and the lower lobe of the caudal fin usually have black tips. The pelvic fins and rarely the anal fin may also be black-tipped. The first dorsal fin and the upper lobe of the caudal fin typically have black edges.

The blacktip shark is known to leap out of the water and spin three to four times about its axis before landing. Some of these jumps are the end product of feeding runs, in which the shark corkscrews vertically through schools of small fish and its momentum launches it into the air.

Fish make up some 90% of the blacktip shark's diet. A wide variety of fishes have been recorded as prey for this species: sardines,herring, anchovies, ladyfish, sea catfish, threadfin, mullet, mackerel, jacks, groupers, snook and like fish.

This species attains a maximum known length of 2.8 m (9.0 ft), though 1.5 m (4.9 ft) is more typical, and a maximum known weight of 123 kg (271 lb).

The blacktip shark is popular with recreational anglers.

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