Blacktip reef shark

Blacktip reef shark

Latin name: Carcharhinus melanopterus

A Marvel of Adaptation!


  • It is wonderfully adapted to hunting and evolving in water environments. Its fusiform body is hydrodynamic, which allows it to reach a speed of 37 km/hr. Its teeth are constantly renewed, ensuring that they are always as sharp as knives!
  • Its skin is not covered with scales but with dermal denticles, a structure more similar to teeth that considerably reduces problems linked to underwater turbulence.
  • Aggression occurrences related to the blacktip reef shark are rare as only 11 unprovoked attacks have been reported by the ISAF (The International Shark Attack File) since 1959.
  • In Hawaii, some families consider this shark to be an aumakua, or guardian spirit, often of ancestors.
  • This shark is vulnerable to overfishing since its gestation period is long, the female gives birth to only 2 to 4 young, and the mortality rate for young sharks is of about 75%


  • Distribution

    Warm waters of the Indo-Pacific

  • Habitat

    Coastal waters

  • Diet

    Carnivore

  • Status

    Near threatened

  • Zoo Zone

    South Pacific Odyssey Pavilion