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oceanic whitetip shark Oceanic whitetip shark

OCEANIC WHITETIP SHARK

Carcharhinus longimanus

SIZE

To about 11.5 ft (3.5 m).

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS

  • First dorsal fin broadly rounded
  • Pectoral fins long, broad, and paddle-shaped
  • First dorsal, pectoral, and caudal fins usually with white mottling on tips; small juveniles may have black blotched or black tips on fins and black saddle marks on dorsal surface between fins
  • Caudal fin with no distinct lower lobe
  • Color brown to olive-gray above, gray-white to yellow below

DISTRIBUTION

Maine to Argentina, including Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. Uncommon in U.S. Atlantic EEZ.

HABITAT

Offshore in waters >600 ft (183 m); occasionally coastal near oceanic islands. Usually in water temperatures >72°F (22°C).

SIMILAR SPECIES

Broadly rounded, white-tipped first dorsal fin of oceanic whitetip shark distinguishes this species from other Atlantic sharks.

MORE INFORMATION

Ichthyology at the Florida Museum of Natural History


Guide to Sharks, Tunas, & Billfishes of the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.

Text descriptions taken from:
Guide to Sharks, Tunas, & Billfishes
of the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico

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(File Modified Aug. 08 2017)