Common Name: Caribbean Reef Shark

Scientific Name: Carcharhinus perezii

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Chondrichthyes

Order: Carcharhiniformes

Family: Carcharhinidae

Genus: Carcharhinus

Species: C. perezii

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Carcharhinus perezii, also known as the Caribbean Reef Shark is a very stocky shark. It has a short bluntly rounded snout. They are also grayish brown with a white ventral surface. It differs in length from about 200 cm. to 250 cm, but size at birth is about 70 cm. They have a big variety of ragged teeth that are not used for tearing. They also have relatively large eyes which have 3 eyelids to protect their eyes.

The Caribbean Reef Shark is a very interesting shark. It lives in the Western Atlantic: South-East Florida, Bahamas, and Caribbean to Brazil. It prefers to live close to the bottom of the ocean, down to at least 30 meters. They have a lifespan of about 25 years. They reproduce sexually and hold their pups in a yolk-sack placenta. There are usually 4 to 6 pups in each littler. They have a specific time to mate called a mating season.

Caribbean Reef Sharks have a large diet. They are dangerous to human. They usually eat marine animals such as fish and sea turtles. They find their food towards the bottom of the ocean. Some interesting facts are they have 5 gills, three eyelids, their enemies are fishermen, and unlike many sharks they do not have a swim bladder. Their 5 gills are pelvis, anal, first dorsal, second dorsal, and pectoral fins. They have an upper eyelid, a lower eyelid, and another protecting eyelid. So now you know about the Caribbean Reef Shark. Hope you learned some interesting facts about this fascinating shark.

Author: Ashleigh S.

Published: 02/2009

 

Sources: http://www.fishbase.org/summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=879 http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/classification/Carcharhinus_perezii.html

 

Photo Credit: Michelle Hedstrom from Arvada http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Carcharhinus_perezi_bahamas2.jpg