Blacktip Shark Facts for Kids

Blacktip shark (Carcharhinus limbatus) is one of the requiem sharks. It has a pointed snout and robust body. The tips of its fins are black and have long gill slits. Quite often, it leaps into the air separating itself from water and returning hard on its back.

Keep in mind: Blacktip Shark and Blacktip Reef Shark are two different fish.

It can grow up to 8 feet in length and weighs around 66 to 220 pounds. At birth, the size of pups is about 55 to 60 centimeters.

Blacktips have a minimum lifespan of 12 years.

Male blacktips mature at about 4 to 5 years while females reach maturity after 7 to 8 years. The reproductive cycle is annual. Mating season occurs between spring and early summer.

A litter size can range from 4 to 11 pups at a time. But on average, litter size is from 4 to 6 pups.

Blacktip is a warm-water fish. It is present in tropical, temperate and subtropical waters of the world. These sharks are often found off bays and coral reefs in shallow waters. Off western Atlantic, blacktips are found all the way up to southern Brazil from Massachusetts. Off eastern Atlantic, it moves toward central Africa from Mediterranean. (IUCN Red List).

Blacktips rely on small bony fishes for most its diet like flatfish, mackerels, herring, grunts, mojarras, sardines, ladyfish, boxfish, jacks mullet, anchovies, sea catfish and other sharks and rays. Occasionally, they are also known to eat animals like krill, squid, shrimp, crabs, octopus and lobsters.

Blacktips are timid sharks and thus do not pose any threat to humans. But at times, they tend to follow divers perhaps because of their probing nature.

Adult blacktips do not have any predator. However, since blacktips stay along in-shore waters, humans are the biggest threat to their survival because of habitat degradation and commercial fishing.

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