smoothtooth blacktip shark
The rare greenish shark
Family: Carcharhinidae – Requiem sharks
Common Name– Ground Sharks
Common Name– Requiem Sharks
Status: IUCN Red List ENDANGERED
Average Size and Length: The longest recorded Smoothtooth Blacktip shark was recorded at 3.9 feet long.
Teeth and Jaw: The mouth of the Smoothtooth Blacktip shark forms a wide arch and has very short furrows at the corners. There are 16 upper and 14–15 lower tooth rows are on either side, along with two or three small teeth at the symphysis of either jaw. The teeth are distinctive in shape, having narrow, upright cusps without serrations.
Head: The snout is short and blunt. The Smoothtooth Blacktip shark has large nostrils with flaps over them, and has small, circular eyes with nictitating membranes.
Denticles: The dermal denticles are slightly overlapping and have three prominent horizontal ridges leading to three or five marginal teeth.
Tail: On the Smoothtooth Blacktip shark, a crescent-shaped notch can be seen on the caudal peduncle at the upper caudal fin origin. The caudal fin is asymmetrical, with a well-developed lower lobe and a longer upper lobe with a ventral notch near the tip.
Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Smoothtooth Blacktip shark has only been logged from eastern Yemen and Kuwait, which is about 1,900 miles apart, and these two locations are quite different. The Gulf of Aden near Yemen is over 1.6 miles deep with a narrow continental shelf and no permanent riverine inputs, while the Persian Gulf near Kuwait is shallower than 130 feet and obtains abundant fresh water from the Tigris-Euphrates-Karun river system.
The Kuwait specimens were obtained from fish markets; given the practices of Kuwaiti speedboat fishers, this shark can be supposed to inhabit shallow, coastal waters.
These waters include a range of habitats from estuaries to coral reefs; therefore, the habitat requirements of the Smoothtooth Blacktip shark remain a mystery.
Diet: The Smoothtooth Blacktip shark is known to feed on marine catfish and its diet probably also includes other small bony fishes.
Aesthetic Identification: The Smoothtooth Blacktip shark is greenish-yellow to greenish-gray above, sometimes with a sprinkling of tiny dark dots. The underside is counter-shaded white, which extends in a pale band onto the flanks. All the fins have sharply defined black tips, and a broad, dark midline stripe runs from the second dorsal fin base to the tip of the upper caudal fin lobe. The Smoothtooth Blacktip shark has five pairs of long gill slits, has a robust build and looks similar to a Blacktip Reef shark.
The Smoothtooth Blacktip shark has long and pointed pectoral fins that are slightly falcate and originate between the fourth and fifth gill slits. The first dorsal fin is medium-sized and triangular with a pointed apex, and originates over the rear of the pectoral fin bases. The second dorsal fin is small and positioned opposite the anal fin. No ridge exists between the dorsal fins. The pelvic fins are triangular and larger than the anal fin, which has a deep notch in the trailing margin.
Biology and Reproduction: The only known data we have on the Smoothtooth Blacktip shark is that they are viviparous, and males seem to reach sexual maturity at some point between 3 and 3.9 feet long.
Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Little is known.
Speed: Little is known.
Smoothtooth Blacktip Shark Future and Conservation: The current assessment of the Smoothtooth Blacktip shark is still accurate since waters around the Arabian Peninsula are subject to heavy fishing pressure and habitat degradation. Gillnet and other fisheries off Kuwait are known to take the Smoothtooth Blacktip shark as bycatch, while intensive Yemeni and Somalian shark fisheries operate in the Gulf of Aden. The status of the Yemen subpopulation is uncertain because no further specimens have been recorded since the original over a century ago. There is a lot o from for research and conservation focused around the Smoothtooth Blacktip shark.
Smoothtooth Blacktip Shark Recorded Attacks on Humans: Not a known threat