Blacktip Reef Shark

Blacktip Reef Shark

Carcharhinus melanopterus


These sharks sometimes jump fully out of the water during feeding frenzies.

Exhibit Name and Location:
Baltimore - Blacktip Reef

Blacktip Reef Shark Blacktip Reef Shark Blacktip Reef Shark Blacktip Reef Shark

Blacktip Reef Shark

The Blacktip Reef Shark is named for the easily recognizable black tips on its dorsal and caudal fins. It has a short, round snout and angled, saw-like teeth. It has a white belly and a dark back in order to camouflage itself with the ocean floor and bright ocean surface.

Blacktip Reef Sharks swim in shallow waters just a few meters deep near reefs and drop-off zones. Although they primarily live in shallow ocean waters, there have been occasional sightings of Blacktip Reef Sharks in freshwater.

These sharks often swim in schools, as seen in the Blacktip Reef exhibit.

Blacktip Reef Shark Facts


Blacktip Reef sharks mostly feed on reef fish but sometimes eat crustaceans, cephalopods, and mollusks.


These sharks can grow up to six feet long.


Blacktip Reef Sharks are commonly found in the coastlines of Pacific regions such as Thailand, Japan, Philippines, New Caledonia, and northern Australia. They are also found in the Indian Ocean from South Africa to the Red Sea.

Population Status

The Blacktip Reef Shark is not currently endangered, but the species is experiencing population loss from overfishing.


This species is often caught by commercial fisheries that sell its meat, liver oil, and fins.

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Curator of Large-Fish Exhibits/Diving Safety Officer

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As the curator of large-fish exhibits, Holly's day-to-day responsibilities include managing our staff of aquarists and making sure that all of the animals under our care are doing well! Learn More


Sharks! Behind-the-Scenes

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Learn About Sharks! Behind the Scenes

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