Size: Up to 10 feet long
Habitat/Range: Tropical and subtropical waters worldwide
IUCN Status: Near Threatened
The silky shark is named for the smooth texture of its skin, which is made up of densely packed scales called dermal denticles. It is one of the most abundant sharks and can be found in tropical waters around the world. It is a swift and aggressive hunter, feeding mainly on bony fish and squid. It has been known to drive prey into compacted schools before launching into an open-mouthed, slashing attack. Highly mobile and migratory, it will often travel with others of similar size indicating that size segregation is present within the species. Typically, smaller sharks can be found in coastal nurseries, while larger adults are further offshore over deeper water. Small silky sharks are commonly associated with schools of tuna.