Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific 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 ( < 1/2 predorsal length), origin over front 1/2 inner pectoral margin
high crest between D1 & D2
top teeth: triangular (length > base width)

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 between end of the pectoral base and halfway along inner pectoral margin; apex of first dorsal bluntly pointed; second dorsal fin origin before origin of anal 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 285 cm; size at birth 65-80 cm.

Habitat: offshore, bottom living, juveniles shallow water.

Depth: 25-500 m, usually below 90 m.

Circumglobal distribution in temperate and tropical seas; the Gulf of California to Peru.

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  • Brackish
  • Marine
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Near Bottom
  • Water column only
  • Water column
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Sharks/rays
Egg Type
  • No pelagic larva
  • Live birth
  • No data
Global Endemism
  • All Pacific (West + Central + East)
  • "Transpacific" (East + Central &/or West Pacific)
  • Transisthmian (East Pacific + Atlantic of Central America)
  • East Pacific + Atlantic (East +/or West)
  • East Pacific + all Atlantic (East+West)
  • TEP non-endemic
  • Circumtropical ( Indian + Pacific + Atlantic Oceans)
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • Eastern Pacific non-endemic
  • Continent
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic
  • All species
  • Island (s)
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • South Temperate (Peruvian Province )
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • Antitropical (North and South temperate)
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
IUCN Red List
  • Data deficient
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 285
Depth Range Min
  • 25
Depth Range Max
  • 500