As our readers have probably noticed, we are fascinated by creatures large and small: lionfish, sharks, whales, frogs, monkeys . . . and the list goes on. This week, the Discovery Channel’s Photos of the Day caught my eye, because it focused on one of the sharks common to Caribbean waters, which include nurse sharks, bull sharks, tiger sharks, and several types of reef sharks. The one shown above is a blacktip shark.
The good news is that shark attacks in the Caribbean are rare. According to bookyourdive.com, Florida shark attacks average from 20-30 per year. The rest of the Caribbean islands average less than one attack per year (with the Bahamas leading with the most attacks out of all the islands). But for now, let’s dwell on their beauty. Here is the latest info from Discovery Channel, featuring the blacktip shark:
Attention, Floridians. The blacktip shark is the most common brand of shark found in your waters closer to shore, although, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there has never been a fatal attack credited to the species.
More broadly, in the U.S., Atlantic blacktips are usually found in the waters from North Carolina to Texas from spring through summer, although they’ll also venture as far north as New England and as far south of the border as Mexico.
The blacktip likes to make its living in coastal waters, using shallow areas between South Carolina and Texas as a place to raise their pups during the warmer months. It spends about 5 years reaching adulthood, will live 10 years or more, and runs about 6 feet long at maturity. This shark is known for its swift ways in the water and its breaching of the surface to pounce on schools of fish it’s hunting. With teeth that replace themselves throughout their lives, and eyes that are super-fast to respond to low light, the blacktip cuts a dashing shark figure.
Tune in to Discovery Channel every night during Shark Week, which begins on on August 10 at 8/7C.
For more, see http://news.discovery.com/animals/sharks and http://news.discovery.com/animals/sharks/shark-gif-of-the-day-mako-shark-140808.htm
Common sharks in the Caribbean: http://www.bookyourdive.com/blog/2013/1/7/shark-species-found-in-the-caribbean-sea