Carcharhinus falciformis (Müller & Henle, 1839)
Silky shark
photo by Furlan, B.

 Family:  Carcharhinidae (Requiem sharks)
 Max. size:  350 cm TL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 346 kg; max. reported age: 25 years
 Environment:  reef-associated; depth range 0 - 4000 m, oceanodromous
 Distribution:  Circumtropical. Western Atlantic: Massachusetts, USA to southern Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea to Uruguay (Ref. 58839). Eastern Atlantic: Spain, Madeira to northern Angola; St. Paul's Rocks (Ref. 13121); Cape Verde (Ref. 34514). Indo-Pacific: scattered records from the Red Sea and Natal, South Africa (Ref. 5578) to China, New Zealand, and the Caroline, Hawaiian, Phoenix and Line islands. Eastern Pacific: southern Baja California, Mexico to northern Chile. Highly migratory species, Annex I of the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea (Ref. 26139).
 Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 0-0; Anal spines: 0-0; Anal soft rays: 0-0. A large, slim shark with a moderately long, flat and rounded snout, large eyes, small jaws, and oblique-cusped teeth with serrations; 2nd dorsal fin low and with greatly elongated rear tip (Ref. 5578). Grey or bluish-grey above, white below; no conspicuous fin markings (Ref. 5578). Only Carcharhinus species with an interdorsal ridge that has the dorsal fin origin behind the free rear tip of the pectoral fin (Ref. 26938).
 Biology:  Found abundantly near the edge of continental and insular shelves, but also in the open sea and occasionally inshore (Ref. 244). Often found in deepwater reefs and near insular slopes (Ref. 244). Littoral and epipelagic, in the open sea or near the bottom at 18-500 m (Ref. 58302). It is quick-moving and aggressive (Ref. 244). Solitary (Ref. 26340); often associated with schools of tuna (Ref. 244). Feeds mainly on fishes, but also squid, paper nautiluses, and pelagic crabs (Ref. 244; 37816). Viviparous (Ref. 50449). Regarded as dangerous to humans (Ref. 9997). Flesh utilized fresh and dried-salted for human consumption; its hide for leather; its fin for shark-fin soup; its liver for oil (Ref. 244). 2 to 14 young, 73 to 87 cm, are born per litter (Ref. 1602).
 IUCN Red List Status: Near Threatened  (Ref. 96402)
 Threat to humans:  traumatogenic
 Country info:   
 

 Entered by: Carpenter, Kent E. - 15.06.92
 Modified by: Kesner-Reyes, Kathleen - 23.05.14
 Checked by: Luna, Susan M. - 04.04.94

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