Smoothtooth blacktip

Smoothtooth blacktip shark is a very rare species of marine animals. It is known to scientists only from one sample, caught off the southern coast of Saudi Arabia, in the Gulf of Aden. There is information about the capture of several specimens of these sharks off the east coast of Yemen and near Kuwait in the Persian Gulf, but there is no documentary confirmation of the correct identification of the species. Apparently, the number of populations and the range of the species are very small. Prefers coastal shallow water, may be present near river mouths.

Smoothtooth blacktip shark belongs to the small species of gray sharks, the largest individual reaching a length of 120 cm. The body is stocky, spindle shaped. The head is relatively short, the snout is pointed. The eyes are small, round, there is a blinking membrane. The nostrils have nasal valves in the form of triangular skin folds, there are short labial grooves.

The upper part of the body is gray or yellowish brown with a greenish tint. Dark specks may be present on the body. On the sides, from the posterior dorsal fin to the tip of the upper lobe of the caudal fin, there is a weakly pronounced dark stripe. All fins have dark edging and black tips. These sharks have narrow, straight-edged, upright teeth. In general, the body shape of the smooth black-pointed shark is characteristic of most species of the gray family.

The basis of the diet is apparently small bony fish, squid, cuttlefish and benthic invertebrates – crustaceans, sea worms.

The species is presumably viviparous, like other members of Smoothtooth blacktip shark family.

The conservation status of Smoothtooth blacktip shark has been identified as Vulnerable (VU), since they live in areas where there is a high pressure of negative human activities – pollution, uncontrolled fishing.

There is no information on the number and state of populations. Perhaps these sharks are sometimes present in the catches of local fishermen.

It is not dangerous for humans due to its small size; however, it can bite if handled carelessly.

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