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COMMON NAME: Sandbar Shark

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Carcharhinus plumbeus

DESCRIPTION: Bluish to brownish gray with a bluntly rounded snout and taller than average first dorsal fin; reaches lengths of over 7 feet and can weigh up to 150 pounds.

HABITAT/RANGE: Temperate and tropical coastal waters worldwide but most abundant in the Western Atlantic.

DIET: Mollusks, crustaceans and small bony fish.


ON EXHIBIT: Adventure Zone D – Shark Realm

Sandbar Sharks

The sandbar shark, also known as the brown shark, is one of the biggest coastal sharks in the world. It is the most common shark species swimming along the mid-Atlantic coast. Its most distinguishing characteristic is a taller than average first dorsal fin.

True to its name, the sandbar shark is commonly found over muddy or sandy bottoms in shallow coastal waters such as bays, estuaries, harbors, or the mouths of rivers. Sandbar sharks swim alone or gather in sex-segregated schools that vary in size. It is known to undergo seasonal migrations that are influenced by temperature and, possibly, ocean currents. Unlike most sharks, the female gives birth to live young in shallow water nursing grounds every 2 to 3 years. Juveniles are common in the lower Chesapeake Bay, and nursery grounds are found from Delaware Bay to South Carolina.

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