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Carcharhinus altimus (Bignose shark)

(Springer, 1950)

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

Carcharhinus altimus (Bignose shark) [Illustration by Ann Hecht ]


A cylindrical, heavy-bodied greyish shark with a large, long, broad snout, long nasal flaps, prominent high interdorsal ridge, high triangular saw-edged upper teeth, large straight pectoral and dorsal fins, and no conspicuous markings. Underside white.


To at least 2.8 m TL.


East coast off Port Alfred, also Natal and Mozambique; virtually circumtropical.



Normally outer shelf and uppermost slope at 250 to 400 m, but sometimes at surface or inshore.


Little-known. Bears 3 to 15 young. Eats bottom animals, including croakers, lizardfish, batfish, soles, dogfish, catsharks, and cuttlefish.

Human Impact

Caught by offshore trawlers, rarely by sports anglers.

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