Whitetip Reef Sharks
With a body length rarely longer than 1.6 metres (5.2 ft) the Whitetip Reef Shark is a relatively small species of requiem shark, and is common right across the Indo-Pacific region including Cocos Island and Malpelo. It’s recognisable by its slender body and broad head, with the distinctive white tip of its dorsal fin giving the shark its name. Unlike other sharks which need to constantly move through the water column in order to breathe and respirate, the Whitetip Reef Shark uses its gills to pump water along its body, enabling it to lie motionless on the ocean floor for long periods of time. It’s typically found at depths of around 8 to 10 metres, and spends most of the day resting in caves or on the sand. Whitetip Reef Sharks are commonly found in large groups, and are most active at night or during slack tide as they hunt for prey which includes octopus, fish and crustaceans. Although very curious and commonly found encircling divers, the Whitetip is not aggressive to humans.