Blacktip Sharks Blacktip Sharks

All About Pacific Blacktip Sharks

By: Jenna L. Eckel

They’re fast.

They’re sleek.

They're the newest and fastest residents of Ocean Realm who are swimming to you just in time for Spring Break 2021!





 

 

What’s New at Adventure Aquarium?
Adventure Aquarium is proud to welcome two Pacific blacktip reef sharks (Carcharhinus melanopterus) to Ocean Realm, the aquarium’s largest exhibit containing 760,000 gallons of seawater and featuring over 400 animals, including Anchor, a great hammerhead shark, silky sharks, loggerhead, green sea turtles, stingrays and giant groupers. The sharks were transferred from Adventure Aquarium's sister property Newport Aquarium in Kentucky. The first new species of shark to be added to Adventure Aquarium’s collection in 13 years!

Why Are They Called Pacific Blacktip Reef Sharks?
Pacific blacktip reef sharks display a prominent appearance different from an Atlantic blacktip reef shark, because of the distinct black markings on their fins. The black fins against their light cream-colored bodies are quite striking.

What Are Some Traits of Pacific Blacktip Reef Sharks?
Aside from their noticeable black-tipped fins, they swim fast. Like really fast. During your visit to Ocean Realm, you’ll see our Pacific blacktip reef sharks speeding past Anchor and the other sharks in the exhibit.   

How Big Are Pacific Blacktip Reef Sharks?
When you’re peering into Ocean Realm from Panoramic Window, you will see a significant size difference between the Pacific blacktip reef sharks and the other shark species found in the exhibit. Pacific blacktip reef sharks are about 5 feet long and weigh approximately 25 to 30 lbs. 

What Is A Pacific Blacktip Reef Shark’s Diet?
Pacific blacktip reef sharks feed on fish and invertebrates found in their coral reef habitats. They enjoy crustaceans, cephalopods and mollusks.  At the aquarium they are fed a varied diet of capelin, squid, mackerel, herring, blue runner and clam.

Do Pacific Blacktip Reef Sharks Have Predators?
Small reef sharks, like the Pacific blacktip reef shark species, can be predators and sometimes the prey of larger shark species. Pacific blacktip reef sharks feed on reef fishes, stingrays, crabs and other crustaceans. 

What Is the Pacific Blacktip Reef Shark’s Habitat?
In nature, Pacific blacktip reef sharks can be found in the Indo-Pacific Ocean from the Red Sea and East Africa to the Hawaiian Islands and south to French Polynesia. They also have moved into the eastern Mediterranean Sea through the Suez Canal. This shark cruises in very shallow water with its dorsal fin often extending above the surface. It has been known at times to jump completely out of the water while in the shallows. Pacific blacktip reef sharks are listed as “Vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

How to get your photo with a Pacific Blacktip Reef Shark?
Stand at Ocean Realm’s Panoramic Window or peak through a window in Sea Turtle Cove to catch a photo with these fast-moving sharks speeding by during your next visit!