Scientifically called Carcharhinus limbatus or the Blacktip Shark is also known by many names including Spot-Fin Ground Shark, Requiem Shark and Gray Shark depending on the region that it is found.
The Blacktip Shark lives in coastal waters worldwide – where it often encounters people, they can be found in large numbers along the Gulf of Mexico, Indian Ocean, waters of South Africa and Madagascar, East coast of China, the Persian Gulf, waters of the Pacific Islands and the Red Sea.
Blacktip sharks are medium-sized sharks with a pointed nose. Their pectoral, dorsal, and tail fins have black tips or dark gray color (which their name was derived from), but the anal fin is white. The body have a torpedo shape, which allows them to swim with less effort.
Blacktip Sharks can live up to 10 years old. Males mature by the age of 4 or 5, and females reach maturity later, at age 6-7. Females can start reproducing at age 4 or 5 years and continue to have pups for life.
They are sometimes spotted above water. They leap to the surface, spin several times and splash down on their backs. It is said this is how they catch their prey. This behavior is one of the reasons they are often confused with Spinner Sharks since they exhibit similar behavior and have other physical characteristic similarities.
They primarily feed on schooling fishes such as sardines, mullet, herring; also feeds on crustaceans, cephalopods, shrimps, oyster toadfish, bonnethead, triggerfish, porcupine fish, groupers, catfishes, jacks, and flatfishes.