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Carcharhinus amboinensis (Pigeye or Java shark)

(Müller & Henle, 1839)

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) >.Chondrichthyes > Elasmobranchii > Galeomorphii > Carcharhiniformes > Carcharhinidae

Carcharhinus amboinensis (Pigeye or Java shark) [Illustration by Ann Hecht ©]


A large, massive, thick-headed greyish shark with a short, broad, blunt snout, small eyes, large triangular saw-edged upper teeth, high erect 1st dorsal fin at least 3.2 times 2nd dorsal height, no interdorsal ridge, and no conspicuous markings on fins. Underside white, fin tips dusky.


To 2.8 m TL


East coast from Algoa Bay, Natal and Mozambique; Eastern Atlantic, Indian Ocean, and western Pacific.



Coastal to offshore, sometimes in shallow bays, down to 60 m.


Feeds on bottom organisms, including kob, sole, ribbonfish, small sharks and rays, shrimp, cuttlefish, gastropods, and mammalian carrion.

Human Impact

Not implicated in shark attacks, but possibly dangerous because of its large jaws and teeth. Caught by anglers and the Natal shark nets.

Text by Leonard J.V. Compagno, David A. Ebert and Malcolm J. Smale