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White tip sharks have long, broadly rounded pectoral and first dorsal fins.
Blotchy white coloration on tips of pectoral, first dorsal, pelvic, and lower
caudal fins. Second dorsal and anal fin tipped in black. Dorsal coloration olive
brown to bronze. Ventral surface pale.
White Tip Shark
Carcharinus longimanus is a large, thick-bodied, slow-moving shark with very
large, paddle-shaped pectoral fins and white tips on its pectoral, and dorsal
fins and tail. It is not closely related to the smaller white tip reef shark. It
can grow to be about 13' (4 m) long, but is usually about 10 feet (3 m) long. It
is a potentially dangerous predator, very aggressive and eating just about
anything. It lives far offshore and in depths up to 500 feet (150 m). They have
litters of up to 15 pups (the number of pups increases with the size of the
mother) after a 1 year gestation period. It is found in all tropical and
Cruises over deep reefs and through open oceanic regions in search of
oceanic bony fishes such as tuna. Sometimes follows pods of pilot whales
probably due to their ability
to find squid and may feed on injured individuals. Oceanic white tips can
lift their noses out of the water and sniff the air to find prey over greater
distances than by following water borne scent trails. May congregate around food
sources such as whale carcasses (where it dominates similarly sized sharks such
as blues) but most often solitary.
Oceanic White Tip Sharks are deadly to their advanced sense of smell. For
some reason these particular sharks have a more advanced sense of smell than
most other sharks in the world.
White Tip's live in all open oceans, and are abundant around the world.
They are actually thought to be the most abundant shark in the ocean, which also
makes them dangerous.
Night is when many of these sharks come into their own: Very often you
will see them hunting the sleeping reef's dozing fish, as well as seeking out
other night-active fish, eels and large crustaceans.
The oceanic white tip can be easily
distinguished by its strong, wide triangular serrated upper teeth. It has
unproportionately larger pectoral fins and the characteristic white blotch on
the tip of its dorsal fin, hence the name. Although you will not see it at
first, you will know that it is there when you see a congregation of pilot fish
swarm, as if they were bees by which they cover the frame of this magnificent
large predator. Though it is smaller then the great white, this is still one of
the biggest sharks there is and can easily reach length of up to 5 meters long.
Another unfortunate characteristic of this shark is that is extremely
unpredictable. There are many accounts of divers from around the Sinai and as
far south as Om-el-Oroush in Sudan who claim that they spotted and swam amongst
the oceanic white tip without any incident. On the other hand, there is an equal
number of accounts from all over the world where oceanic white tips initiated
unprovoked attacks on surfers, swimmers and divers. It is now also being proven
that most of the fatalities that occur as a result of shark attacks to plane and