Broadfin Shark

The broadfin shark is a rare tropical whaler shark named after its characteristic broad pectoral fins. It is one of the two species in its genus – the other being the Borneo broadfin shark which was classified as a separate species much later.

Broadfin Shark Scientific Classification

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Chondrichthyes
Order Carcharhiniformes
Family Carcharhinidae
Genus Lamiopsis
Scientific Name L. temminckii


Male broadfins are 3.8 ft, while females are slightly larger at 4.3 ft. This shark has an elongated snout as long as the width of its entire mouth. Inside its mouth, one can observe triangular, serrated teeth in the upper jaw and smooth, hooked teeth in the lower one.

As its name suggests, it has two broad pectoral fins as well as two dorsal fins of similar length. The anal fins are straight.

Dorsally this shark is light grey and ventrally a bit lighter, giving them a bit of countershading.

Where do they live

Map Of The Broadfin Shark’s Habitat

Broadfin Shark Habitat Map

The broadfin shark has been seen in both the Indian and the Pacific Oceans, with sightings in Burma, China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Sarawak. They swim in coastal tropical waters within the continental shelf.



It feeds on cephalopods, crustaceans, and teleosts. Research indicates that crustaceans are a staple part of their diet.


Broadfin sharks are viviparous, giving live birth to a litter of around eight pups. They are generally born from March to September, encompassing the pre-monsoon and monsoon seasons.

At birth, the newborns are about 16.5–25.6 inches.

Interactions with humans

The IUCN classifies this shark as “Endangered” or “EN” due to heavy fishing pressure in its range. However, a re-estimation of its numbers is required, as the newly-discovered Borneo broadfin shark potentially inflated them in some places, a separate species from the broadfin. So the total number of broadfin sharks might be lower than expected.

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