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 Dusky shark (Carcharhinus obscurus)

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Dusky shark
No image of Dusky 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 obscurus
German: Düsterer Hai, Schwarzhai
English: Dusky shark, Black whaler, Bronze whaler
French: Requin sombre
Spanish: Tiburón arenero


Large, with a short, broadly rounded snout. Fairly large eyes. Origin of first dorsal fin is usually over or slightly in front of the rear tips of the pectoral fins. Low interdorsal ridge.


Blue to grey upper body, white ventral surface. The tips of most fins are dusky, not black or white. Inconspicuous white band on the flanks.


Western Atlantic: Southern Massachusetts to Florida. Bahamas, Cuba, northern Gulf of Mexico. Nicaragua, southern Brazil. Eastern Atlantic: Possibly Portugal, Morocco, Madeira, Canary and Cape Verde Islands, Senegal and Sierra Leone. Western Indian Ocean: South Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar. Western Pacific: Japan, China, Viet Nam, Australia, New Caledonia. Eastern Atlantic: Southern California.


Commonly found inshore and offshore of warm-temperate and tropical area from the surface to 400 m depth. This species is strongly migratory in temperate and subtropical areas (North Pacific and North Atlantic).


Feeds on a variety of reef, bottom and pelagic fishes, as well as angel sharks, saw sharks, spiny dogfishes, cat sharks, smooth-hounds, and other grey sharks (blacktip sharks, spinner sharks).


Maximum size possibly over 400 cm (females), males reach about 340 cm.


Viviparous, with yolksac-placenta. 3 to 14 pups per litter. Size at birth between 70 and 100 cm. Births may occur over a long time span of several months in pupping areas, and have been reported as occurring from late winter to summer. Males mature at about 280 cm, females mature between 260 cm and 300 cm. Age at maturity about 6 years, expected life span at least 18 years.

 Similar Species

Similar species exist. Diagnostic features have to be used to properly identify species.


Status in the IUCN Red List(1994):

Main criterion: > LR/nt (Low Risk/Near Threatened (1994))
Sub criterion:
Trend: Declining

 Danger to Humans

Potentially dangerous.

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