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Carcharhinus falciformis (Silky shark)

(Bibron, in Müller & Henle, 1839)

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

Carcharhinus falciformis (Silky shark) [Illustration by Ann Hecht ©]


A large slim oceanic grey shark with moderately long, flat rounded snout, small jaws, large eyes, oblique-cusped serrated upper teeth, 1st dorsal behind pectorals, 2nd dorsal low and with a greatly elongated rear tip, and no conspicuous fin markings. Underside white.


To 3.3 m TL.


East coast, central Natal and Mozambique; circumtropical.



Oceanic in warm water near shelf edge and in the open sea from surface to at least 500 m.


Common offshore. Bears 2 to 14 young per litter. Eats a variety of oceanic and inshore bony fishes, but also octopi, squid, and pelagic crabs.

Human Impact

Taken in offshore longline fisheries.

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