Easily recognized by the black tips that adorn all of their fins, the blacktip reef shark is one of the most common reef sharks. If you’re visiting a reef in the Indo-Pacific ocean or the Mediterranean Sea, you’re likely to come across the grey reef shark, whitetip reef shark, and the blacktip reef shark. But if you are near SeaQuest Fort Worth, Texas you can see all of them just a short drive away from home!
Blacktip Reef Sharks are commonly found up to 20 meters deep, but on rare occasions can be found more than 50 meters! Often, you’ll see them swimming along with their dorsal fin sticking out of the top of the water.
The Shy and Reserved Reef Predator
Blacktip Reef Sharks are definitely homebodies! Researchers studying the blacktip reef shark off the Palmyra Atoll found they have an average home range of about 21 square miles, the smallest of any species of shark.
The Blacktip Reef Shark is a shy but curious shark. When new divers enter the water, they’ll often swim over to check them out. They are also wary and easily frightened, so they are quickly scared off. Due to their presence in the shallow reefs, Blacktip Reef Sharks often find themselves coming into contact with people. There has never been a fatal attack on a human by a blacktip reef shark, however.
Jawesome Blacktip Reef Shark Facts
- The Blacktip Reef Shark reaches a maximum size of 6.6 feet and 30 pounds.
- Blacktip Reef sharks reach maturity at a little over three feet in length for females and males at around three feet. After a gestation period of up to 14 months, they give birth to 2-5 pups, with 4 being the most common amount. Although commonly confused with the Blacktip Shark, the two species are very different.
- They are opportunistic feeders, but some of their favorite foods are crustaceans, squid, octopus, and bony fish.
- Some families in Hawaii see this shark as their “aumakua” or spirit guardian.
The Blacktip Reef Shark’s Conservation Status
Like most shark species, the blacktip reef shark population is on the decline. While they are not an endangered species at this time, they are noted as near threatened. Unfortunately, they are often caught as the by-product of gill net fishing. They are also fished for their fins, meat, and liver oil.
While the Blacktip Reef Shark may be one fascinating species, you might want to check out the mysterious Axolotl here at SeaQuest Fort Worth, Texas! If landlubbers are more your style, you might want to check out the noble Green Iguana.
If you’ve never been lucky enough to see a Blacktip Reef Shark, come to SeaQuest Fort Worth, Texas, and watch them today!
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