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 Bignose shark (Carcharhinus altimus)

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Bignose shark
No image of Bignose shark found in the Shark Database
 Range Map

Earth Map


Phylum: Vertebates (Chordata)

Class: Carlilagenous Fishes (Chondrichthyes)
  Order: Ground sharks (Carcharhiniformes)
    Family: Requiem sharks (Carcharhinidae)
      Genus: Carcharhinus (Carcharhinus)


Scientific: Carcharhinus altimus
German: Grossnasenhai
English: Bignose shark
French: Requin babosse
Spanish: Tiburón baboso


Large shark with a rounded or bluntly pointed snout. Prominent nasal flaps. Nearly straight pectoral fins. The origin of the first dorsal fin over pectoral fin insertion to about over the mid length of the pectoral inner margins. Prominent interdorsal ridge.


Light grey upper body, sometimes even slightly bronze coloration, with a white belly and dusky fin tips, except for the pelvic fins. No conspicuous markings.


Distribution is patchy in tropical and subtropical areas. Western Atlantic: North Carolina (rarely further north) to Florida and Bahamas. Cuba, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Venezuela. Eastern Atlantic: Senegal to Gambia. Western Mediterranean around the coast of Spain. Pacific: China, Hawaii and Gulf of California, southern Mexico, Columbia, and Ecuador.


A common offshore species, mainly bottom-dwelling in deeper water. Can be found preferably in depths between 250 and 430 m.


Feeds on fishes (batfish, soles, lizardfish...) and other sharks including dogfish (Squalus sp.), cat sharks (Holohalaelurus sp.) or rays (Dasyatis sp.).


Maximum size possibly about 300 cm, average size about 240 cm.


Viviparous with yolksac-placenta. 3 to 5 pups per litter. Size at birth is probably between 70 and 90 cm. Males mature with a minimum size of 215 cm, females with a minimum size of 225 cm. Sandbar sharks give birth at different times in different areas, August and September in the Mediterranean, September and October around Madagascar.

 Similar Species

A few grey shark species have a similar appearance. Tooth shape and formula, and other taxonomic features have to be used to clearly identify species.


Status in the IUCN Red List:

No Entry found in Red List.

 Danger to Humans

This species does not seem to be a threat to people because of its deepwater habitat.

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