Sharks of South Africa

Shark species of in South Africa. Shark Pictures, Shark ID, Shark Biology, Shark Behavior

Whale Shark South Africa

Whale Shark

WHALE SHARK – Rhinocodon typus. Identification: Whale sharks are the worlds largest living fish, reaching lengths of 13m and weighing up to 13 tonnes. Once you overcome the initial awe of being in the presence of such an enormous shark several things should then become apparent. The huge, square and very wide mouth (thankfully the 3000 teeth …

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Blue Sharks South Africa

Blue Shark

BLUE SHARK – Prionace glauca. Identification: The blue shark is a slender, elongate shark that may attain a length of 3.8 m. The body of the blue shark is counter-shaded, deep almost iridescent blue on the back with lighter sides and a white underbelly. The dorsal fin is relatively low and well behind the trailing edge of the pectoral fins, which are very long and slender. Blue …

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Great White Sharks South Africa

Great White Shark

GREAT WHITE SHARK – Carcharodon carcharias. Great white shark identification: Great white sharks are unmistakable. When you see one you’ll really know it. No other shark has such a powerful submarine presence. Sleek, silent (no jaws soundtrack) and unquestionably in charge, the white sharks only predators are man and orcas. Great white sharks are believed …

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Tiger Sharks South Africa

Tiger Shark

TIGER SHARK – Galeocerdo cuvier. Identification: Another unmistakable submarine presence, tiger sharks are thought attain 7m in length, however sightings in South Africa are almost invariably of female sharks under 4.5m. The robust body bears dark vertical bars along the back and sides to the tail. This beautiful patination, perfectly mimics the refraction of sunlight …

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Bull Shark South Africa

Bull Shark Zambezi

Bull Shark (Zambezi) Carcharhinus leucas Identification: Bull sharks may reach over 4m in length. The body is predominantly grey with a lighter underbelly and no inter-dorsal ridge. The bull shark is a robust shark with a distinctively rounded “blunt” snout. The teeth of the upper jaw are triangular and serrated, the lower jaw teeth are more …

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Ragged toothed shark South Africa

Ragged Toothed Shark

SPOTTED RAGGED TOOTHED SHARK – Charcharius taurus. Identification: Ragged toothed sharks are perhaps South Africa’s best loved sharks. Affectionately known as “raggies” to the locals, they may attain 3.2m and 300 kg. Ragged toothed sharks have a plump, dark-brown to olive-grey body and a pale underbelly – the numerous dark spots fading with age. The …

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Oceanic Blacktip Shark

Oceanic Blacktip Shark

OCEANIC BLACKTIP SHARK – Carcharhinus limbatus. Identification: The blacktip shark (Carcharhinus limbatus) is often referred to as the oceanic blacktip to avoid confusion with the smaller blacktip reef shark (Carcharhinus melanopterus).  Oceanic blacktip sharks are dark brown-bronze in colour with a lighter underbelly and a distinctive light band on the flanks. The body of the blacktip is …

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Mako Shark South Africa

Shortfin Mako Shark

SHORTFIN MAKO SHARK – Isurus oxyrinchus. Identification: The shortfin mako is a sleek, torpedo shaped pelagic shark of the lamnid family. Mako sharks are brilliant blue dorsally and silver -grey ventrally with a lighter belly. The snout is sharply pointed. The fins are prominent with relatively short pectoral fins hence the name shortfin. The tail is …

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Dusky Shark South Africa

Dusky Shark

DUSKY SHARK – Carcharhinus obscurus. Identification: The dusky shark is also known as a grey shark in some areas can be easily confused with other species when viewed underwater. The absence of distinctive markings is, one of the first clues to identification. Dusky sharks are grey to bronze in colour with a lighter underbelly. The …

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Bronze Whaler South Africa

Bronze Whaler

BRONZE WHALER or COPPER SHARK – Carcharhinus brachyurus Identification: Bronze whalers can attain a length of over 3m. The sleek body has a bronze-grey sheen dorsally with an off-white underside and is slightly arched above the gills. The fins are well developed and fin tips can be darker – especially on the lower caudal lobe …

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Hammerhead Sharks South Africa

Hammerhead Sharks

HAMMERHEAD SHARK – Sp. Sphyrna Identification: Hammerhead sharks are unmistakable – for obvious reasons, although identifying exactly which species is another story. Nine species of hammerhead shark occur worldwide, three of which can be found in South African waters. The body of the hammerhead is generally grey-brown dorsally with a lighter underbelly. Fins have no …

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