Sandbar Shark

Identity card

Sandbar Shark

Scientific name:
Carcharhinus plumbeus
Family:
Carcharhinidae
Class:
Chondrichthyes
Phylum:
Chordata
Year of description:
Nardo, 1827
IUCN Status:
Endangered
CITES-status:

Not evaluated

Distribution:

Eastern and Western Atlantic Oceans, and Indo-Pacific, in the Red Sea as well as in the Mediterranean Sea.

Habitat:

The sandbar shark lives in tropical and temperate waters. This predator is continuously on the move.

Size:

A male can grow up to 2 metres in length on average and a record weight of almost 118 kg.

Diet:

The sandbar shark hunts at night and lives off bottom-dwelling fish, rays, crustaceans and cephalopods.

Longevity:

34 years

Conservation program:

Nausicaá is involved in programmes for the sandbar shark at a lower level of engagement called the ESB.

Where can I find it at Nausicaá?

JOURNEY ON THE HIGH SEAS

The great Ocean show

Sandbar Shark
Sandbar Shark
 

In 2008, Nausicaá performed surgery on a gray shark: a world first!

Biomimetics: the shark has inspired the creation of some innovative technologies. Its skin has been used as a model for creating antibacterial, hydro/aerodynamic and antifouling clothing; its fins have helped to improve the stability of airplanes thanks to “sharklets” and the shape of its tail has served as inspiration for tidal steam generators.

Did you know?

The sandbar shark hunts at night and lives off bottom-dwelling fish, rays, crustaceans and cephalopods.

They need to swim constantly to have enough oxygen. The sandbar shark is viviparous, giving birth to live young. Breeding takes place in spring and summer. The young are more than 55 cm long at birth. Litters can contain between 1 and 16 pups.

Where is the animal to be found?

The sandbar shark lives in tropical and temperate waters. This predator is continuously on the move.



It is found on the sea bed and in open water to depths of up to 320 metres. It is fond of sandy or coral beds and estuaries.

How can it be recognised?

The sandbar shark is characterised by a massive body with an all-grey back and a whitish abdomen. Its first dorsal fin is very high and starts in line with the pectorals, which are long and relatively pointed. The sandbar shark can also be recognised by its short snout. It has 5 gill slits on each side of its head.

What is distinctive about it?

The sandbar shark is a placental viviparous species. Males reach maturity when they are between 1.30 m and 1.80 m long; females must be between 1.45 m and 1.80 m long. The gestation period for sharks (between 1 and 16 pups) generally lasts between 8 and 12 months, depending on the temperature and where they live. At birth, sharks measure between 56 and 75 cm. Sharks are born as independent animals as soon as they leave the womb.



The sandbar shark has 14 to 15 rows of teeth that renew themselves continuously, and its teeth have a triangular shape.



The sandbar shark moves continuously. It has to swim all the time because it has no gill muscles. Therefore, water must flow through its  mouth to provide oxygen.

It lives in groups during the day but hunts alone at night.

Threat and protective measure

The sandbar shark is the most widely consumed sharks in the world, both for its fins and meat, and for its skin and oil. It is also used in Chinese medicine.

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