The Silky Shark, also known as the Carcharhinus Falciformis, gets its name from the smooth and silky texture of its skin. Depending on its geographical location, it is also known as the Grey Reef Shark, Olive, Whaler, and sometimes Blackspot.
These sharks have a streamlined and slim body. As adults, they can reach 3.5 meters (12ft) in length and weigh around 350 kilograms (770 pounds).
These sharks love the warm, tropical waters all over the world. They are the most common sharks of the “Pelagic Zone” which are continental shelves with depths of 500 meters or more (1,640ft). But often times, they are seen near the surface as well. The desired water temperature is 20 to 30 degrees Celsius (60 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit).
They have an extremely strong sense of hearing. This acts as a great advantage for locating their preys, mostly consisting of bony fish (especially Tuna), octopuses, and squids.
These predators have a perfect and effective hunting behavior. They dive together in large groups of fish and attack them with lighting fast speed and wide open mouths.
Offspring And Reproduction
Silkies are Ovoviviparous, which means they give birth to live pups. Most females will give birth to 15 or 20 pups at once. The reproduction period is about one year and the pups live within the confines of reefs for safety and shelter before moving out into open seas as juveniles.
Relationship with Humans
For years, scientists believed there was a very high population of this species. But they have now been classified as “near threatened” and there are some concerns about the depleting population. While these sharks have a relatively slow reproductive rate, they are well dispersed.
The Silky often times gets caught into fishing nets due to their hunting behavior. They chase after tuna fish at a quick speed and don’t see the nets until they are already trapped.
Attacks on humans, while rare, are a concern for divers. This shark is not shy and will attack when provoked. Divers are encouraged to keep their distance from the Silky Shark.