Silvertip Shark (Carcharhinus albimarginatus)


Class: Elasmobranchii
Order: Carcharhiniformes
Family:    Carcharhinidae
Size:    Length: 5.25 to 9.8 feet (1.6 to 3 m)
Weight: Up to 357 pounds (162 kg)
Diet: Tuna, dolphin, marlin, octopus and more
Distribution: Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean
Young:  1 to 11 pups
Animal Predators:  Unknown
IUCN Status: No special status
Terms: Young: Pups
Lifespan: Unknown



·         Between 1580 and 1998, there has only been one recorded attack by a silvertip on a human, and it was provoked.   



Silvertip sharks are dark grey or grey-brown above, with white undersides. Their fins have distinctive white tips, and there is a faint white band on the flank. They are streamlined in shape, with dorsal fins that remain upright—they cannot bend to reduce drag. They have large pectoral fins, an anal fin, a pelvic fin and a two-lobed caudal fin, or tail. Their eyes are located at each side of the head, and the mouth is located on the underside of the head. 



Silvertip sharks are often found deep below the ocean’s surface, preferring depths of 197 to 4,921 feet (60 to 1,500 m). They live in the tropical waters of the Indian and Pacific oceans and can sometimes be seen inside lagoons, especially young sharks that stick to shallower water close to shore, unlike adults, who tend to roam more.


Feeding Habits

Silvertips feed on a variety of fish, including wrasses, soles and rays as well as flying fish, tuna and octopus. They are known to circle a group of feeding sharks of other species, then suddenly, they will rush in and take the food themselves. Silvertips put on bulk as they grow larger and often have scars on their heads, suggesting that they feed on larger fish and ocean creatures such as stingrays once they reach a certain size. 



Females undergo a pregnancy lasting 12 months, giving birth during the summer months. The average litter size is five or six, but can contain as many as 11 pups. The pups are approximately 25 inches (63 cm) long at birth. 



Silvertip sharks can move very quickly, making them formidable predators. Although they tend to be shy and keep to themselves, they can be extremely aggressive when hunting for food or when threatened. 



Silvertip sharks are common to abundant throughout their range.



Sharks, Lee Server, The Image Bank, 1989.

The Encyclopedia of Sharks, Steve and Jane Parker, Firefly Books, 1999