This next critter is an acrobatic wonder to see in- and out- of the water: the spinner shark (Carcharhinus brevipinna). With a worldwide distribution in subtropical and coastal waters, from shallow regions within bays and down to depths of 100 m, these are sharks you are probably not a stranger to.
With a slender grey body, creamy underbelly, long snout and black tipped fins, they are often misidentified with the blacktip shark. Here’s a spinner shark identification video to help out with the confusion:
The spinner shark only reaches up to 3 m (9.8 ft) in length, yet is a voracious predator who hunts pelagic, teleost fish including sardines, herring, mullet, tuna, small sharks, cuttlefish, squid and octopus. They swim rapidly through schools of these fish, spinning and snapping at their prey, and this usually ends up with the shark leaping out from the water. Light bulb moment: this is where they get their common name from.
They give live birth to 3-15 pups after a 12-15 month gestation period. The pups do quite well for themselves, and therefore these sharks are classified as Near Threatened (NT) by the IUCN.
want to see these sharks? so do we!
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TFUI Founder Melissa C. Marquez is author of all animal bios and "Behind the Fins" segments.
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