The blacktip shark is the ABQ BioPark Aquarium's current featured species.
Blacktip Shark - Carcharhinus limbatus
Where in the aquarium? Watch five blacktip sharks cruising in the Ocean/Shark exhibit.
Where in the world? Temperate and tropical waters worldwide. They are most often found near coasts at depths of 100 feet or less.
Identifying characteristics: Adults are robust with long, pointed snouts. They are usually about 5 feet long. As the name suggests, these sharks have fins with black tips.
Did you know?
- Blacktip sharks are viviparous. The young develop inside the mother's uterus, where she provides the nutrients they need. The gestation period is 10-12 months. The young pups are born live and ready to swim!
- Blacktips are responsible for some of the shark attacks you hear about in the news. These bites usually result from a case of mistaken identity--the shark thinks the swimmer is a school of fish, splashing in the water. Most of the bites are very minor, and no fatalities from blacktip bites have been reported. While they generate a lot of news, shark bites are actually very rare.
- Blacktip sharks migrate. In the Atlantic Ocean, their seasonal movement can range as far as from Nova Scotia to Brazil.
Conservation status: Sharks around the world are threatened by overfishing and habitat loss. Blacktip sharks are protected by some fishing regulations, but still fished commercially and sold for fish meal, leather and shark fin soup.
Shark Conservation at the BioPark: The blacktip shark births in 2008 provided Aquarium staff with a rare opportunity to learn more about the reproductive behaviors of this blacktip shark.
“This may be one of the first, possibly the first, recorded birth of blacktip sharks in captivity,” stated Aquarium Manager Holly Casman. “This is an important step for shark conservation. We’re documenting our efforts in the hope that our research will provide other facilities with new information about shark reproduction.”
Although the Aquarium no longer has blacktip pups, you can watch a video of a pup being born on January 19, 2008.