244; 37816). Found in superficial aggregations . Tends to feed near the bottom but may take bait from the surface. Feeds mainly on bottom fishes, also squid and octopi. In the Galapagos Is. it preys on sea lions and marine iguanas. Aggressive and dangerous to people . Viviparous. 6 to 16 young of 57 to 80 cm are born per litter .
Click on the language to view common names.
Common Names in Afrikaans:
Common Names in Dutch:
Common Names in English:
Galapagos Shark, Grey Reef Whaler, Mackeral Shark, Mackerel Shark, Tollo
Common Names in French:
Requin Citron, Requin De Galapagos, Requin Demoiselle, Requin Des Galapagos, Requin Insulaire
Common Names in Hawaiian:
Common Names in Japanese:
Common Names in Malay:
Common Names in Mandarin Chinese:
Common Names in Portuguese:
Ca, Cação, Tubar, Tubarão-Dos-Galápagos
Common Names in Rapa Nui:
Common Names in Samoan:
Common Names in Spanish:
Caz, Cazón, Jaquet, Jaqueta, Jaquetón, Tibur, Tiburón, Tiburón De Galápagos, Tollo, Tollo-Caz, Tollo-Cazón
Common Names in Thai:
Species Carcharhinus galapagensis
Distinctive Features: This is a large shark
with a slender, fusiform
body and low inter-dorsal ridge
between the first and second dorsal
. The tall and nearly straight first dorsal fin originates over
the posterior third of the pectoral fin inner margin
. The long pelvic
fins are straight, each with a pointed
. The snout of the Galapagos
shark is broadly rounded
Resembling the grey reef shark (C. amblyrhyncos), the Galapagos shark can be distinguished with a more slender body and a slightly rounded tip on the first dorsal fin. The Galapagos shark very closely resembles the dusky shark (C. obscurus). The Galapagos shark has a much more erect first dorsal fin and larger teeth than the dusky shark, however this can be difficult without direct comparison of two specimens. The easiest method to distinguish these two species is by the number of precaudal vertebrae - there are 103-109 in the Galapagos shark and 86-97 in the dusky shark. To determine the number of vertebrae , the backbone must be exposed from the back of the skull to the base of the tail.
Coloration : The Galapagos shark is brownish-gray upper body and white ventral surface with or without dusky markings on the fins. An inconspicuous white band can sometimes be seen on the flanks.
Dentition: The serrated upper teeth are relatively long and broadly triangular in shape . The very finely serrated lower teeth are symmetrical and erect. Typically there are 14 teeth on either side of the symphysis in each jaw with one tooth located at the symphysis
Size, Age, and Growth: The Galapagos shark reaches a maximum length of 12.1 feet (3.7 m ). Male individuals mature at lengths of 6.9-7.5 feet (2.1-2.3 m) while females mature at 7.2-8.2 feet (2.2-2.5 m) in length. Age of Galapagos sharks at first reproductive effort is approximately 10 years. Maximum known lifespan is approximately 24 years.Males are commonly 300 cm (Total Length) in length when caught/marketed, but may be as large as 370 cm (Total Length).
This shark is quite abundant in waters around oceanic islands , found close inshore as well as occasionally reported offshore in waters over continental and insular shelves to depths of 591 feet (180 m ). It has a preference for clear tropical waters with strong currents over coral or rocky bottom habitats . Although it is considered a coastal species, the Galapagos shark has been reported to cross open waters between islands. Juveniles are limited to waters shallower than 82 feet (25 m), which act as nursery grounds and help avoid cannibalism by their own parents. This shark often swims just above the bottom substrate, forming loose aggregations. May be found at depths of 0 to 180 meters. Usually found at depths of 30 to 180 meters.
Typically found in water with a depth of 0 to -4,207 meters (0 to -13,802 feet).
Biome: Marine .
Carcharhinus galapagensis is most commonly found over rugged,
rocky terrain in clear water. There is a suggestion that this species
prefers areas with strong
. In Hawaii the majority
were found near points
characterised by having
currents that converge and move offshore at those points (Wetherbee
1996). Isolated rocky islets
serve as congregation
sites (Edwards and Lubbock 1982, Brum and Azevedo 1995), suggesting
that underwater pinnacles may also be suitable habitat
, giving this
species a more extensive range
of sites than currently understood.
Occurs from surface waters to depths of over 280 m
, with some suggestion
on the basis of size. Vertical
appear to be site specific and vary considerably between geographical
. In some regions juveniles
are found in shallow
water (less than 1 m) whereas in others they prefer deeper water
(around 40 m) (Wetherbee et al. 1996). This species is reputed
to reach a maximum body size of about 350 cm total length (TL
suggest that 300 cm TL appears more likely. Females
at about 215 to 250 cm TL, males at about 205 to 250 cm TL
(Bass et al. 1973, Last and Stevens 1994, Wetherbee et
al. 1996). Estimated age at maturity is 6 to 8 years for males
and 6.5 to 9 years for females (De Crosta et al. 1984).
ranges from 4 to 16, with young born at 60 to 81 cm TL.
Reproductive life histories are not well known. Females probably
every two (or three) years with mating likely to occur in winter/spring.
The species has a limited intrinsic rebound potential (Smith et
Carcharhinus galapagensis feeds primarily on demersal prey with fishes and cephalopods important to all size classes. Ontogenetic dietary shifts occur, with sharks and rays taken by larger (>200 cm TL) individuals. Ascribed a relatively high trophic level of 4.2 (Cortés 1999). An aggressive shark considered potentially dangerous to humans..
List of Habitats:
- 9 Marine Neritic
- 9.1 Marine Neritic - Pelagic
- 10 Marine Oceanic
- 10.1 Marine Oceanic - Epipelagic (0-200m) [more info]
Feeds primarily on bottom-dwelling fishes as well as on squid and octopus . These fish include eels, flatheads , groupers, flatfish , and triggerfish. As Galapagos sharks reach large sizes, they also feed on other elasmobranchs. In the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador, it has been observed preying on sea lions and marine iguanas. The Galapagos shark displays threat gestures to warn competitors in the search for food.
Galapagos sharks are "viviparous", or livebearing, with embryos nourished by a yolksac-placenta during gestation . Mating and birth occurs early in the year within Hawaiian waters. Female individuals often have mating scars from males biting the gills , fins , and body. After gestation during which the embryos develop inside the mother, live birth results in a litter size of 4-16 pups . Each pup measures 24-31 inches (60-80 cm) in length . The pups stay in shallow water nursery areas to avoid predation and cannibalism from members of their own species, eventually moving out to deeper waters as they mature .
Predators : Large sharks are potential predators of the Galapagos shark . Cannibalism is also reported within this species.
- Whittaker & Margulis,1978
- C. Linnaeus, 1758
- (Hatschek, 1888) Cavalier-Smith, 1983
- Grobben, 1908
- (Haeckel, 1874) Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Bateson, 1885
- Cuvier, 1812
- Jawed Vertebrates
- Infraclass: Euselachii ()
- Subclass: Elasmobranchii ()
- Class: Chondrichthyes ()
- Infraphylum: Gnathostomata () - auct. - Jawed Vertebrates
- Subphylum: Vertebrata () - Cuvier, 1812 - Vertebrates
- Phylum: Chordata () - Bateson, 1885 - Chordates
- Infrakingdom: Chordonia () - (Haeckel, 1874) Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Branch: Deuterostomia () - Grobben, 1908
- Subkingdom: Bilateria () - (Hatschek, 1888) Cavalier-Smith, 1983
- Kingdom: Animalia () - C. Linnaeus, 1758 - animals
Carcharhinus Galapaguensis • Carcharhinus galapaguensis (Snodgras & Heller 1905) • Carcharias galapagensis Snodgrass & Heller • Carcharias obscurus (Non Lesueur)
Status: Accepted Name
Last scrutiny: Data last modified by FishBase 28-Oct-2000
Members of the genus Carcharhinus
ZipcodeZoo has pages for 36 species and subspecies in this genus:
C. acronotus (Blacknose Shark) · C. ahenea (Shortnose Blacktail Shark) · C. albimarginatus (Silvertip Shark) · C. altimus (Knopp´s Shark) · C. amblyrhynchoides (Graceful Shark) · C. amblyrhynchos (Shortnose Blacktail Shark) · C. amboinensis (Ambon Sharpnose Puffer) · C. azureus (Large Blacktip Shark) · C. borneensis (Borneo Mullet) · C. brachyurus (Black-Tipped Whaler) · C. brevipinna (Blacktipped Shark) · C. cautus (Sharks Bay Whaler Shark) · C. dussumieri (Whitecheek Shark) · C. falciformis (Sickle-Shaped Shark) · C. fitzroyensis (Creek Whaler Shark) · C. galapagensis (Galapagos Shark) · C. hemiodon (Pondicherry Shark) · C. isodon (Fintooth Shark) · C. leiodon (Smoothtooth Blacktip Shark) · C. leucas (Bull Shark) · C. limbatus (Blacktip Shark) · C. longimanus (Brown Milbert's Sand Bar Shark) · C. macloti (Hardnose Shark) · C. melanopterus (Black Fin Reef Shark) · C. obscurus (Dusky Shark) · C. perezi (Caribbean Reef Shark) · C. perezii (Caribbean Reef Shark) · C. plumbeus (Northern Whaler Shark) · C. porosus (Tiburon Peninsula Limia) · C. sealei (Black-Spot Shark) · C. signatus (Night Shark) · C. sorrah (West Australian Whaler Shark) · C. springeri (Reef Shark) · C. tilstoni (Australian Blacktip Shark) · C. velox (Whitenose Shark) · C. wheeleri (Blacktail Reef Shark)
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- Bennett, M.B., Gordon, I. & Kyne, P.M. 2003. Carcharhinus galapagensis. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloadedon 31January2012.
- Bisby, F.A., Y.R. Roskov, M.A. Ruggiero, T.M. Orrell, L.E. Paglinawan, P.W. Brewer, N. Bailly, J. van Hertum, eds (2007). Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2007 Annual Checklist. Species 2000: Reading, U.K.
- Brands, S.J. (comp.) 1989-present. The Taxonomicon. Universal Taxonomic Services, Zwaag, The Netherlands. Accessed January 9, 2012.
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- Ruggiero M., Gordon D., Bailly N., Kirk P., Nicolson D. (2011). The Catalogue of Life Taxonomic Classification, Edition 2, Part A. In: Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2011 Annual Checklist (Bisby F.A., Roskov Y.R., Orrell T.M., Nicolson D., Paglinawan L.E., Bailly N., Kirk P.M., Bourgoin T., Baillargeon G., Ouvrard D., eds). DVD; Species 2000: Reading, UK.
Accessed through GBIF Data Portal March 01, 2008:
- FishBase: FishBase DiGIR Provider - Philippine Server
- Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University: AIMS - Baited Remote Underwater Video Station (OBIS Australia)
- Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History: Vertebrate specimens
- Museum national d'histoire naturelle: Ichtyologie
- OZCAM (Online Zoological Collections of Australian Museums) Provider: Online Zoological Collections of Australian Museums
- Senckenberg: Collection Pisces
- Biodiversity Heritage Library NamebankID: 3863117
- Catalogue of Life Accepted Name Code: Fis-23056
- Fishbase Species ID: 870
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility Taxonkey: 13529401
- Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) Taxonomic Serial Number (TSN): 160345
- IUCN ID: 197928
- Zipcode Zoo Species Identifier: 842
- Compagno, L.J.V. (1984). FAO species catalogue. Vol. 4. Sharks of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of shark species known to date. Part 2. Carcharhiniformes. FAO Fish. Synop. (125, Vol. 4, Part 2), 655 p. [back]
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- Mean = 1,077.970 meters (3,536.647 feet), Standard Deviation = 1,265.440 based on 3,793 observations. Ocean depth information for each observation from British Oceanographic Data Centre. [back]
- Bennett, M.B., Gordon, I. & Kyne, P.M. 2003. Carcharhinus galapagensis. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 31 January 2012. [back]