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Galapagos Shark (Carcharhinus galapagensis)

Galapagos Shark (Carcharhinus galapagensis)

All images and text on this page are copyright protected: © 2010 Kelvin Aitken.
All rights reserved. Students may use this information for personal research only. Not for commercial use.

Order: Carcharhiniformes
Family: Carcharhinidae
Genus: Carcharhinus
Species: galapagensis
Taxonomic name: Carcharhinus galapagensis

The Galapagos Shark (Carcharhinus galapagensis) was first recorded in the Galapagos archipelago but has since been recorded in many oceanic islands of the Pacific. Its distribution is restricted in Australia to Lord Howe Island and surrounding oceanic reefs, being very plentiful at Middleton and Elizabeth Reefs. At first glance this shark is very similar to the Grey Reef Shark with comparable markings, colour and profile but the Galapagos Shark has a far more slender body, especially when young, and a slightly rounded dorsal fin.

Female Galapagos Sharks are often seen with deep mating scars caused by males biting their gills, fins and flanks in a dominance display. Pups are born 60–80 cm long and grow to an adult size of 3 m. They feed primarily on fish and squid. Like the Grey Reef Shark, the Galapagos Shark also has a threat display that is used to warn off predators or competitors looking for food or territory.

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