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Species: Carcharhinus galapagensis, Galapagos Shark

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snout moderately long, broadly round
D1 medium height, origin over rear 1/2 pectoral inner margen
low ridge between Ds
pectoral curved
pelvics well behind D1

Carcharhinus galapagensis (Snodgrass & Heller, 1905)

Galapagos Shark

A relatively slender shark; snout moderately long and broadly rounded; eyes large, round; nasal flaps rudimentary; lip furrows short; upper teeth broadly triangular, serrated, straight to slightly oblique; lower teeth with high narrow straight, very finely serrated points; a low ridge between dorsal fins; origin of first dorsal fin above about rear edge of pectoral fins; first dorsal fin moderately large (height 9.1-12.1% or more of TL), with straight front edge, its apex pointed or narrowly rounded, moderately concave rear edge, its origin over rear 1/2 of inner margin of pectoral fin; origin of second dorsal fin about over anal fin origin, fin height usually > 2.3% (2.1-3.3%) TL; origin of pelvic fins well behind 1st dorsal fin; pectorals large, slightly curved, with narrowly rounded to pointed tips; 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.

Brownish grey on back and sides, white below; tips of most fins dusky, especially underside of pectorals.

Attains 370 cm.

Habitat: usually associated with oceanic islands. Often occurs in aggregations.

Depth: 0-286 m.

Circumtropical distribution; Bermuda to the N & E Caribbean.

Note: Very similar in appearance and easily confused with C. obscurus; in C obscurus the origin of the 1st dorsal fin is over/slightly behind the free rear tip of the pectoral fin (vs over the inner margin & before that tip in C galapagensis); and the pelvic origin is only slightly behind the free rear tip of the 1st dorsal fin (vs well behind in C galapagensis).

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • In & Offshore
  • Inshore
  • Offshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom + water column
  • Mid Water
  • Near Bottom
  • Near Surface
  • Surface
  • Water column
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Live birth
  • No pelagic larva
  • No pelagic phase
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Circumtropical ( Indian + Pacific + Atlantic Oceans)
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Extends North of GC
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • Island (s) only
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 370
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 286