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Blacktip Reef Shark

on September 9, 2010; last updated September 9, 2010
Aquarium Guide - Mini


Blacktip Reef Shark

The blacktip reef shark is one of the only sharks that can jump fully out of the water. Scientists are still studying the purpose of this behavior, but they think it could be to give the shark a look at its surroundings, to show dominance over another, to court a mate, or to remove parasites from its skin. No matter what the reason, how did the shark know to do this? The information for such behavior was given to this creature by its Creator.


  • The blacktip reef shark has black tips on its fins, a white band on the dorsal fin, and a light streak on each side.
  • This shark is a sleek, active swimmer.

Fun Facts

  • The young of this shark are called “pups,” and two to four are born per litter.
  • The Australian Aborigines eat this shark, and other people use this shark’s liver oil for various purposes.
  • The blacktip reef shark is normally very shy and easily frightened.
  • On rare occasions it has been known to bite waders, but these are probably cases of mistaken identity.

CLASS: Chondrichthyes (cartilaginous fish—sharks, skates, and rays)
ORDER: Carcharhiniformes (ground sharks)
FAMILY: Carcharhinidae (requiem sharks)
GENUS/SPECIES: Carcharhinus melanopterus

Size: Up to 6 ft (1.8 m)
Weight: 31 lbs (14 kg)
Depth: Commonly up to 250 ft (75 m)
Diet: Reef fish, squid, octopuses, shrimp, sea snakes
Habitat: Shallow, tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific region

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