Otherwise known as the Queensland Shark
The Graceful shark (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchoides) is a species of requiem shark, in the family Carcharhinidae, found in the tropical Indo-Pacific, from the Gulf of Aden to northern Australia. It is a midwater species that has been recorded to a depth of 160 feet. It is considered potentially dangerous to humans.
Family: Carcharhinidae – Requiem sharks
Common Name– Queensland Shark
Status: IUCN Red List NEAR THREATENED
Average Size and Length: Recorded up to 5.6 feet long.
Average Weight: Unknown
Teeth and Jaw: The mouth has short furrows at the corners.
The Graceful shark has 31–33 upper and 29–33 lower tooth rows. The upper teeth have a single narrow cusp with serrated edges, upright at the center of the jaw and becoming more oblique on the sides. The lower teeth are similar to the upper teeth but much more-slender and upright.
Head: The Graceful shark has a short and rounded wedge-like snout. The eyes are large and circular, and have nictitating membranes.
Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Graceful shark finds its home in the tropical Indo-Pacific, from the Gulf of Aden to Northern Australia. It is a midwater species that has been recorded to a depth of 160 feet.
The Graceful shark has also been reported in southwestern India and Sri Lanka, the Gulf of Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines to Borneo and Java, and Papua New Guinea to northern Australia from Townsville to Eighty Mile Beach.
Since it is a rare shark, and the difficulty in distinguishing it from related species, its range is probably continuous and wider than the present irregular records suggest. The Graceful shark prefers open water and can be found from close to shore to the outer continental and insular shelves.
Diet: The Graceful shark feeds primarily on bony fishes, and occasionally cephalopods and crustaceans. Jacks make up over 60% of its fish diet in the Gulf of Carpentaria.
Aesthetic Identification: The Graceful shark is counter-shaded bronze on top, and white on the belly. The pectoral fins, dorsal fins, lower caudal fin lobe, and sometimes the pelvic fins usually have black tips, while the upper caudal fin lobe darkens towards the trailing edge and the anal fin may be completely light. The fin markings tend to fade with age.
The Graceful shark has five long gill slits. The pectoral fins are falcate and taper to pointed tips; their leading margins measure about a fifth as long as the total length in sharks over 31 inches long. The first dorsal fin is high and broad, with a pointed apex and a concave trailing margin; its origin lies just over the insertion of the pectoral fins. The second dorsal fin is large and located about opposite the anal fin, which is about the same size. There is no ridge between the dorsal fins. The caudal fin has a well-developed lower lobe and a ventral notch near the tip of the upper lobe.
Biology and Reproduction: Known parasites of the Graceful shark are: Callitetrarhynchus gracilis, Dasyrhynchus variouncinatus, Heteronybelinia estigmena, Otobothrium carcharidis, Parotobothrium balli. Tapeworms.
The Graceful shark is viviparous. Off northern Australia, males and females likely mate every year in February, with ovulation following shortly after. Females typically have litters of 3, but as many as 9 pups have been reported. The young are born in January or February, following a gestation period of 9–10 months. Sexual maturity is attained at a length of 3.6–3.9 feet in both sexes.
Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Little is known
Graceful Shark Future and Conservation: The Graceful shark is caught incidentally by commercial fisheries in Thailand, India, Sri Lanka using gillnets and longlines. It is a minor component of shark catches off northern Australia. The meat is sold fresh or dried and salted, the fins are shipped to East Asia for shark fin soup, and the liver is processed for vitamins.
Graceful Shark Recorded Attacks on Humans: Potentially dangerous. No recorded attacks.