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Whitetip Reef Shark

Whitetip Reef Shark
Scientific Name

Triaenodon obesus

Other Common Name(s)
Whitetip Shark, Light-tip Shark
Body Length
Up to 2 m
Body Weight
Up to 28 kg
Coral reefs in the shallow, tropical waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans
Fun Facts

Fun Facts

  • Coral reefs often form a rough surface with a lot of long projections and sharp edges. Whitetip reef sharks have a slender body, tough skin and manoeuvrable pectoral fins to adapt to this habitat.

  • Whitetip reef sharks are not territorial. They often rest together in caves during the day. They also share their reef habitats with other sharks such as blacktip reef sharks and grey reef sharks.

Threats & Conservation

IUCN Red List: Vulnerable
IUCN Red List: Vulnerable

There is heavy fishing pressure in inshore waters. Whitetip reef sharks are caught and consumed for their meat and liver. While they were once very common in coral reefs, their numbers have dropped due to fisheries. These sharks are the top predators in the reefs and therefore serve an important role in balancing ecosystems. Their decline may bring a breakdown of the food web.

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