Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Family: Carcharhinidae, Requiem Sharks, Blue Sharks, Lemon Sharks, Sharpnose Sharks, Tiger Sharks, Whitenose Sharks, Whitetip Sharks


All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

eye round
D1 between pectoral & pelvic bases
C asymmetric, strong lower lobe, upper edge rippled, pits at base
mouth to well behind eyes
teeth = sharp blades

FAMILY CARCHARHINIDAE

REQUIEM SHARKS, BLUE SHARKS, LEMON SHARKS, SHARPNOSE SHARKS, TIGER SHARKS, WHITENOSE SHARKS, WHITETIP SHARKS

Requiem sharks are small to large sharks (~ 1-7.4 m); elongate to robust; snout ranging from broad and blunt to long and conical; eyes round, with lower eyelids (internal nictitating membranes); usually no spiracles (Galeocerdo is the exception) nostrils without barbells or grooves; mouth large, arched, extends well behind eyes; grooves along the sides of the lips at the rear of the mouth; teeth of variable sizes, blade-like, with or without accessory points, upper and bottom teeth with different forms, upper front teeth smaller than those at sides, front and side teeth not separated by a group of small teeth; 5 gill slits, last 2 over pectoral base; 1st dorsal fin base smaller than upper lobe of tail, situated entirely before the pelvic fins; 2nd dorsal much smaller than 1st; anal fin moderately large, its origin before or under 2nd dorsal origin; tail base with pits above and below before tail fin; tail strongly asymmetrical, lower lobe of tail well developed, upper lobe with undulating ridge along its top edge, and a notch under its tip.

Requiem sharks are active strong swimmers. As voracious predators they feed on a variety of fishes, other  sharks, rays, squid, octopuses, cuttlefish, crabs, lobsters, and shrimps. Some also eat sea birds, turtles, sea snakes, marine mammals, molluscs, and carrion, as well as human garbage.

The requiems are one of the largest and best known family of sharks.  Worldwide there are 50 species in 12 genera; 22 species (13 circumglobal, 1 trans-Atlantic, 7 W Atlantic and 1 endemic) in 6 genera occur in our region.

PREPARED BY D ROSS ROBERTSON, AFTER CARPENTER (2002)