Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Carcharhinus altimus, Bignose Shark

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snout long ( > / = mouth width), broad
nostril flaps high, triangular
D1 high, origin near rear insertion of pectoral
high crest between Ds
pectoral long, straight

Carcharhinus altimus (Springer, 1950)

Bignose Shark

Heavy body; snout long, broad, and slightly pointed, its length >/= mouth width; eye round; distance from nostrils to mouth < 2.4x mouth width; flaps on front of nostrils large and triangular; upper teeth serrated, triangular (longer than base width) and slightly oblique, the center pair erect, lower teeth with narrow points, finely serrated edges; prominent ridge present on back between dorsal fins; 1st dorsal fin high, (8.3-11.9% of TL, <1/2 length before D), its origin over/near rear insertion of pectoral fin; apex of first dorsal bluntly pointed; second dorsal fin length of its inner margin <1.5X fin height; pectoral fin long, relatively straight; tail base without keel; tail fin strongly asymmetrical, with well developed lower lobe, undulating ridge along dorsal surface of top lobe, and a notch under tip of that lobe.

Grey, becoming whitish below; distal ends of all fins except pelvics dusky, with pigment on tips of pectorals darker on underside of fins.

Reaches 300 cm; size at birth 65-80 cm.

Habitat: offshore, bottom living, juveniles in shallow water.

Depth: 0 -810 m, usually below 90 m.

Circumglobal in temperate and tropical seas; SE USA to Brazil.

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  • Brackish
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Near Bottom
  • Water column only
  • Water column
  • Estuary
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Pelagic
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Sharks/rays
  • Bony fishes
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Live birth
  • No pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Circumtropical ( Indian + Pacific + Atlantic Oceans)
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Data deficient
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 300
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 810