Carcharhinus perezi

WHAT TO LOOK FOR
A large shark with a short bluntly-rounded snout, an interdorsal ridge, and no prominent markings on its fins.

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COLOR
Gray brown to olive above, white to yellowish below.

SIZE
Most sharks encountered by divers are about 5.2 ft [1.6 m] in length. Males mature when they are between 4.9 and 5.5 ft [1.52 to 1.68 m], females at 6.5 to 9 ft [2 to 2.95 m].

TEETH
Teeth in both jaws are serrated. Teeth of the upper jaw have narrow cusps and broad bases and are semi-erect to oblique, teeth of the lower jaw are narrow and erect with triangular cusps and broad bases.

HABITAT
The shark is a tropical inshore bottom dweller of the continental and insular shelves. It is often found on coral reefs and adjacent to drop offs.

DISTRIBUTION
Western Atlantic from Florida to southern Brazil, Bahamas, Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. It is the commonest shark on coral reefs in the Caribbean.

BIOLOGY
Prey – Thought to feed on fishes and rays.
Reproduction – Viviparous. Litters of 4 to 6 pups have been reported. Size at birth is 24 to 30 inches [60 to 75 cm].

BEHAVIOR
This species has been observed in caves and lying motionless on the bottom.

DISPOSITION
In staged “shark feeds” in the Bahamas the shark may make close passes at divers. It is rarely aggressive, but four incidents have been recorded.