Shark Photos
Atlantic Sharpnose Shark

Family Carcharhinidae, REQUIEM SHARKS
Rhizoprionodon terraenovae

Description: long and flattened snout; white trailing edge of pectoral; black-edged dorsal and caudal fins, especially when young; may have small whitish spots on sides; furrows in lips at the corners of the mouth; outer margin of teeth notched; second dorsal fin originates over middle of anal fin; brown to olive-gray in color with white underside; slender body.

Similar Fish: other carcharhinids.

Where found: INSHORE species, even found in surf; also common in bays and estuaries; adults occur OFFSHORE.

Size: small species, 2 to 4 feet.

*Florida Record: n/a

Remarks: mature adults between 2 and 2.75 feet long; 4-7 newborns range from 9 to 14 inches in length; adults feed on small fish and crustaceans.
Bonnethead Shark


BONNETHEAD SHARK
Sphyrna tiburo

Habitat
Abundant in nearshore Florida waters. Commonly seen over shallow sand and mud flats. Moves into deeper coastal waters during the colder months.

Feeding
Feeds primarily on crabs, shrimp, mollusks, and small fishes.

Reproduction
Gives birth to live young. Litters contain 4–16 pups. Size at birth about 12 inches.

Size/Age
Smallest member of the hammerhead family. Maximum length about 3.5 feet. Matures at approximately 2 years of age (about 30 inches) and is estimated to live 7+ years.

Human factors
Edible, but marketed mostly as crab bait. Good sport fish; use light tackle with live shrimp or cut-bait. Harmless to humans. Often displayed in aquaria.



Sandbar Shark

Family Carcharhinidae, REQUIEM SHARKS
Carcharhinus plumbeus

Description: snout broadly rounded and short; first dorsal fin triangular and very high; poorly developed dermal ridge between dorsal fins; brown or gray in color with white underside; upper and lower teeth finely serrated.

Similar Fish: dusky shark, Carcharhinus obscurus; bull shark, Carcharhinus leucas.

Where found: NEARSHORE fish typically found at depths ranging from 60 to 200 feet.

Size: common to 6 feet.

*Florida Record: n/a

Remarks: both predator and scavenger; feeding chiefly near the bottom on fish and shellfish; migrates long distances; matures at about 6 feet in length.



BLACKTIP SHARK
Carcharhinus limbatus

Habitat
Common in Florida’s coastal waters, bays and estuaries. A very active, fast-swimming shark often seen at the surface. Often forms large schools during annual migration times. Migrates southward and into deeper coastal waters during winter months. May leap out of the water and, like the related spinner shark, spin around several times before dropping back into the sea.

Feeding
Feeds primarily on fishes but also eat small sharks, some rays and skates, squid, crabs, octopus, and lobster.

Reproduction
Gives birth to live young. Litters contain 1–10 pups. Females swim into shallow bays in spring and early summer to give birth. Size at birth 22–28 inches.

Size/Age
Maximum length about 6 feet. Matures at approximately 6–7 years of age(about 5 feet) and is estimated to live 10 + years.

Human factors
Valuable commercial species with marketable flesh, hide, fins, and liver. One of the most commonly collected sharks in the commercial fishery. Fished for sport on light tackle and often leap out of the water when hooked. Has been implicated in attacks on bathers.



GREAT HAMMERHEAD SHARK
Sphyrna mokarran

Habitat
A common tropical and subtropical shark that inhabits the open ocean and the shallow coastal waters of both the Gulf and Atlantic coasts of Florida. Favors continental and insular coral reefs but is often associated with inlets and the mouths of bays. Nomadic and migratory, with some Florida populations moving north along the Atlantic coast in summer.

Feeding
Feeds on a stingrays, grouper, sea catfish, a variety of bony fishes, sharks, crabs, and squid.

Reproduction
Gives birth to live young. Litters contain 13–40 pups. Size at birth about 2 feet. Utilizes shallow bays and coastal waters as nursery areas.

Size/Age
Maximum size about 18 feet. Matures at approximately 7–8 feet and is a long-lived shark (20+ years).

Human factors
Taken in the commercial longline fishery mainly for their high quality fins. Considered to be dangerous, ranking seventh in unprovoked attacks on humans (often confused with more abundant Scalloped Hammerhead shark).

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