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 Sandbar shark (Carcharhinus plumbeus)

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Sandbar shark
 Range Map

Earth Map


Phylum: Vertebates (Chordata)

Class: Carlilagenous Fishes (Chondrichthyes)
  Order: Ground sharks (Carcharhiniformes)
    Family: Requiem sharks (Carcharhinidae)
      Genus: Carcharhinus (Carcharhinus)


Scientific: Carcharhinus plumbeus
German: Sandbankhai, Grossflossenhai, Atlantischer Braunhai
English: Sandbar shark, Thickskin shark
French: Requin gris
Spanish: Tiburón trozo


Medium-sized requiem shark. Round snout. First dorsal fin prominent, very high, with a rounded apex. Origin over or slightly anterior to pectoral insertions (ends). Second dorsal fin moderately high as well (2.1 to 3.5% of total body length). Origin over or slightly anterior to anal fin origin. Large pectoral fins, semi-falcate with narrowly rounded or pointed apices. Interdorsal ridge is present.


Grey-brown upper body, white ventral surface. Tips and posterior edges of fins can be dusky colored but no conspicuous markings.


Western Atlantic: Massachusetts to Florida. Gulf of Mexico, Bahamas, Cuba, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Venezuela, southern Brazil. Eastern Atlantic: Mediterranean, Portugal, Canary Islands, Morocco, Senegal, Cape Verde Islands, Gulf of Guinea, Zaire. Western Indian Ocean: South Africa, Madagascar, Mozambique, Tanzania, Mauritius, Seychelles, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman. Western Pacific: Vietnam, China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Australia, New Caledonia. Central Pacific: Hawaiian Island. Eastern Pacific: Galapagos and Revillagigedo Islands.


Abundant. Lives inshore and offshore, over continental and insular shelves. Common in harbours, inside shallow muddy and sandy bays. Depths range from surface (intertidal zone) down to approximately 280 m. Most live close to the bottom.


Small bottom fishes and, to a much lesser extent, crustaceans and molluscs.


Maximum size about 300 cm, average size between 200 and 250 cm.


Viviparous, with yolksac-placenta. 1 to 14 pups per litter. Gestation period estimated between 8 and 12 months (seems to vary with location). Size at birth between 56 and 75 cm. Males reach maturity with a minimum of approximately 30 cm, females with a minimum of approximately 145 cm.

 Similar Species

Similar species exist but the prominent first dorsal fin makes this species easy to recognise.


Status in the IUCN Red List(1994):

Main criterion: > LR/nt (Low Risk/Near Threatened (1994))
Sub criterion:
Trend: Unknown

 Danger to Humans


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