If you’re not a shark expert, you may think that the grey reef shark and the great white shark are one in the same! However, that is not the case. The grey reef shark, or blacktail reef shark, is somewhat stout in size and possesses the classic dark upper body and white lower body. However, what distinguishes these sharks from their fellow shark brethren is the dark margin that appears on the caudal fin, or tail, of the shark.
Just like other shark species, the grey reef shark possesses other qualities that helps distinguish itself from other sharks. In order to help you be a shark expert amongst your friends, let’s look into the habitat, behavior, diet, and other physical characteristics associated with the grey reef shark.
Relationship With Humans
The grey reef shark and human beings have an interesting relationship. The sharks are valued for their fins, which are used for food items such as shark fin soup. However, this shark species is usually out of the range of commercial shark fisheries.
In relation to shark attacks, the grey reef shark will only attack a person once it feels threatened. According to shark studies, this shark species has been responsible for seven unprovoked attacks. However, none of these attacks led to any fatalities.
If this shark feels threatened, it will exhibit a behavior that is described as follows. It will raise its snout, depress its pectoral fins, and arch its back while swimming in an exaggerated way. If the threat continues, the grey reef shark will move lightening fast, biting the attacker quickly before retreating.
The grey reef shark is only found in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. In the Indo-Pacific Oceans, it is usually found in the waters around Madagascar. In the Western Pacific, the sharks are usually in waters around Southern China and Northern Australia. It is one of the most common reef sharks in the Pacific Ocean, along with the blacktip and whitetip reef sharks.
The shark species is usually found in shallow waters, eating reef fishes and crustaceans such as squid, octopus, shrimp, and lobsters. They have also been known to eat bony fish such as cowfish, surgeonfish, and butterflyfish. Like other sharks, the grey reef shark will eat the young of its fellow species if it needs to. Sharks aren’t very judgmental when it comes to eating dinner.
Other Grey Reef Shark Information
The grey reef shark are medium to large in length; usually growing up to 8.4 feet in length. It has a long, and broad snout with very large eyes. The first dorsal fin is just in front of the free rear tips of the pectoral fins.
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