Carcharhinus brevipinna (Spinner shark)
(Müller & Henle, 1839)
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Carcharhinus brevipinna (Spinner shark) [Illustration
by Ann Hecht ©]
A slender grey shark with a long narrow pointed
snout, small 1st dorsal fin, small narrow-cusped teeth, long gill
slits, long upper labial furrows, no interdorsal ridge, and with
labial furrows longer than any other gray shark. Often abruptly
black tips on most fins, young may lack black tips; underside white.
To 3 m.
East coast, Mossel Bay to Mozambique; Atlantic,
Pacific, and Indian Oceans.
Coastal, close inshore down to
75 m depth.
Common off Natal, ranging to Algoa Bay in
summer. Bears up to 20 young. Feeds mostly on pelagic bony fish,
including elf, bonito, kingfish, mullet, and sardines, but also
longtooth kob, lizardfish, squid and cuttlefish, and small sharks.
An active, fast-swimming shark, named for its spinning jumps through
schools of prey.
In Natal commonly caught by anglers
and in the shark nets.
Text by Leonard J.V. Compagno, David A. Ebert
and Malcolm J. Smale