The Grey Reef Shark
The Grey Reef Shark is one of the most common shark species of the Indo-Pacific, and is a true reef species typically found in grottos or drop-offs associated with coral reef ecosystems. Other common names for this shark around the world include the Bronze Whaler and Graceful Shark. Its most distinguishing characteristic is the dark edge on all fins, and the plain coloured or white tipped dorsal fin. Although the shark is small – growing to a maximum size of 1.9 metres (6.2ft) – its aggressive, agile nature means it often dominates other shark species. The Grey Reef Shark tends to have a home territory, but is more social than territorial in personality. By day, the shark socialises in groups averaging 20 individuals, by night it becomes more solitary to hunt. If pursued or cornered by a diver, the shark will typically display a warning territorial posture, with back hunched and pectoral fins lowered, swinging its head from side to side in an exaggerated manner. Divers need to exercise caution if this posture is seen, as it typically preempts attack. Like all shark species, the Grey Reef Shark population is in decline due to different fisheries.