Occurs on the continental shelf and slope (Ref. and the Dusky sharks also carry the sea lamprey Petromyzon marinus, and are the hose of the sharksucker Echeneis naucrates. Average Weight: The average weight of a Dusky shark is 350-400 pounds. For both the dusky and spinner shark, there was a linear increase in near-term pup mass with month, which may indicate variable parturition strategies and/or that carcharhinids are able to adjust the length of the gestation period. Lesueur did not designate a type specimen, though he was presumably working from a shark caught in North American waters. [39] One South African study reported that 0.2% of the sharks examined had preyed upon bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). [5], Many early sources gave the scientific name of the dusky shark as Carcharias (later Carcharhinus) lamiella, which originated from an 1882 account by David Starr Jordan and Charles Henry Gilbert. Litter size ranges from 3 to 16, with 6 to 12 being typical, and does not correlate with female size. [44], Like other requiem sharks, the dusky shark is viviparous: the developing embryos are initially nourished by a yolk sac, which is converted into a placental connection to the mother once the yolk supply is exhausted. However, pregnant females, or post-partum females do not participate. [57], The dusky shark can be identified by its sickle-shaped first dorsal and pectoral fins, with the former positioned over the rear tips of the latter, CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (. The second dorsal fin is much smaller and is positioned about opposite the anal fin. Carcharinus iranzae Fourmanoir, 1961 In the western Atlantic Ocean, it is found from Massachusetts and the Georges Bank to southern Brazil, including the Bahamas and Cuba. They also eat tuna and mackerel, billfish, jacks, needlefish, flyingfish, threadfins, hairtails, lanternfish, and lancetfish. With a gestation period estimated at up to 22–24 months and a one-year resting period between pregnancies, female Dusky sharks have at most one litter of young every three years. In the surf zone, dusky sharks swim to a depth of 573m (1,879 ft). Off KwaZulu-Natal, the use of shark nets to protect beaches has reduced the populations of these larger predators, leading to a studied increase in the number of juvenile Dusky sharks (a phenomenon called “predator release”). Off Western Australia, adult and juvenile Dusky sharks migrate towards the coast in summer and fall. 6871). [51] Various studies have found growth rates to be largely similar across geographical regions and between sexes. The first dorsal fin is of moderate size and somewhat falcate, with a pointed apex and a strongly concave rear margin; its origin lies over the pectoral fin free rear tips. Phylogenetic relationships of the dusky shark, based on allozyme sequences. 8. Although Jordan and Gilbert referred to a set of jaws that came from a dusky shark, the type specimen they designated was later discovered to be a copper shark (C. brachyurus). Larger Dusky sharks, over 9.2 feet long, migrate as far as southern Mozambique. Gestation period of ~ 16 months (Ref.58048). It normally eats small fish (like sardines), large fish (like tuna), flatfish, other sharks, and eels. Dusky sharks are known to eat pelagic fishes, including herring and anchovies. Off KwaZulu-Natal, the use of shark nets to protect beaches has reduced the populations of these large predators, leading to a dramatic increase in the number of juvenile dusky sharks (a phenomenon called "predator release"). The Dusky shark is viviparous. In 2005, North Carolina implemented a time/area closure to reduce the impact of recreational fishing. They eat reef fishes like, barracudas, goatfish, spadefish, groupers, scorpionfish, and porcupinefish. [25] Known parasites of this species include the tapeworms Anthobothrium laciniatum,[26] Dasyrhynchus pacificus,[27] Platybothrium kirstenae,[28] Floriceps saccatus,[29] Tentacularia coryphaenae,[30] and Triloculatum triloculatum,[31] the monogeneans Dermophthirius carcharhini[32] and Loimos salpinggoides,[33] the leech Stibarobdella macrothela,[34] the copepods Alebion sp., Pandarus cranchii,[35] P. sinuatus,[20] and P. smithii, the praniza larvae of gnathiid isopods,[35] and the sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus). [5] However, high concentrations of individuals, especially juveniles, can be found at particular locations. Sharks in the western Atlantic tend to produce slightly smaller litters than those from the southeastern Atlantic (averaging 8 … At birth, dusky sharks are about a length of 70–100 cm (27.6-39.3 in). Dusky sharks are a part of the annual Sardine Run off the eastern coast of South Africa every winter. They are also caught as bycatch on longlines meant for tuna and swordfish. Gestation period of ~ 16 months (Ref.58048). Off South Africa, young males and females over 3.0 feet long scatter southward and northward respectively from the nursery area off KwaZulu-Natal; they join the adults several years later by a yet-unidentified route. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has assessed this species as Endangered worldwide. Here in Florida it is typical to see Silkies, Sandbar sharks and Dusky sharks together, and on occasion, we have seen Oceanic Whitetips with the. In addition, some 2,000 dusky sharks were caught by recreational fishers in 2003 despite the ban. This species is highly valued by commercial fisheries for its fins, used in shark fin soup, and for its meat, skin, and liver oil. Demographic models suggest that the fishery is sustainable, provided that the mortality rate of sharks over 2 m (6.6 ft) long is under 4%. The American Fisheries Society has assessed North American dusky shark populations as Vulnerable. Dusky sharks along both coasts of North America shift northward with warmer summer temperatures, and withdrawal back towards the equator in winter. Gestation period of ~ 16 months. [13] Teeth dating to the Late Miocene or Early Pliocene (11.6-3.6 Ma) are abundant in the Yorktown Formation and the Pungo River, North Carolina, and from the Chesapeake Bay region; these teeth differ slightly from the modern dusky shark, and have often been misidentified as belonging to the oceanic whitetip shark (C. [38] In South African and Australian waters, bony fishes are again the most important prey type. Also, the monogeneans Dermophthirius carcharhinid and Loimos salpinggoides. “Rapid and Simultaneous Identification of Body Parts from the Morphologically Similar Sharks Carcharhinus obscurus and Carcharhinus plumbeus (Carcharhinidae) Using Multiplex PCR“. This is more noticeable in juveniles. The Dusky Whaler is a 'typical', streamlined, grey-coloured shark. They are blue-grey in color which fades into its creamy white underbelly. Dusky Shark (Carcharhinus obscurus) ... and lowest litter rates of all sharks. [7][20] Females grow larger than males. The southwestern Australian fishery began in the 1940s and expanded in the 1970s to yield 500–600 tons per year. [54] Commercial and recreational retention of dusky sharks was prohibited in 1998, but this has been of limited effectiveness due to high bycatch mortality on multi-species gear. It has a very wide distribution in tropical and warm temperate waters. Cartilaginous fishes, mainly skates and their egg cases, are the second-most important dietary component, while the lady crab (Ovalipes ocellatus) is also a relatively significant food source. "Biology and stock assessment of the thickskin (sandbar) shark, ISAF Statistics on Attacking Species of Shark, Youtube video of Dusky Sharks at Shelly Beach in Sydney, Florida Museum of Natural History Ichthyology Department, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Dusky_shark&oldid=985222204, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Confirmed (dark blue) and suspected (light blue) range of the dusky shark. Adults are often found following ships far from land, such as in the Agulhas Current. In the Indian Ocean, it is found off South Africa, Mozambique, and Madagascar, with sporadic records in the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal, and perhaps the Red Sea. Carcharhinus obscurella Deng, Xiong & Zhan, 1981 Heim, B. and Bourdon, J. Based on a study in 1993 by Pratt, females are capable of storing masses of sperm, possibly from multiple males, for months to years within their nidamental glands (an organ that secretes egg cases). As an apex predator positioned at the highest level of the trophic web, the dusky shark is generally less abundant than other sharks that share its range. Dusky Shark Future and Conservation: Dusky sharks have a low reproductive rate, and are extremely susceptible to overfishing. Dusky sharks in the western Atlantic seem to produce slightly smaller litters than those from the southeastern Atlantic. About 1-year gestation period with litter size of 60-100 pups; newborn length doubles in 6 months and adults grow 0-9 cm/year. The second dorsal fin is much smaller and is positioned opposite the anal fin. Head: The Dusky shark has a broadly rounded snout no longer than the width of the mouth. The Dusky shark is one of the most desirable species for shark fin trade, as its fins are large and contain a high number of internal rays. Few Dusky shark attacks are documented, but it is considered dangerous. "Movements and Habitat Preferences of Dusky (, International Union for Conservation of Nature, "The phylogenetic relationships among requiem and hammerhead sharks: inferring phylogeny when thousands of equally most parsimonious trees result", 10.1666/0022-3360(2000)074<0957:ANNSMF>2.0.CO;2, "The extent of population genetic subdivision differs among four co-distributed shark species in the Indo-Australian archipelago". (Pratt, H.L. ), but despite our mighty reputation, sharks are under threat from overfishing (including when we’re accidentally caught as bycatch or collected for shark fin soup), pollution and habitat loss. One of the largest members of its genus, the dusky shark reaches 4.2 m (14 ft) in length and 347 kg (765 lb) in weight. In the northwestern Atlantic, the mating season of Dusky sharks is during spring time. [5], Shark nets used to protect beaches in South Africa and Australia entangle adult and larger juvenile dusky sharks in some numbers. Sampson said with the prohibition on keeping any dusky shark regardless of size failing, NMFS is now exploring a blanket minimum size increase … The five pairs of gill slits are fairly long.[20]. A tracking study off the mouth of the Cape Fear River in North Carolina reported an average swimming speed of 0.8 km/h (0.50 mph). This species is viviparous with a three-year reproductive cycle; females bear litters of 3–14 young after a gestation period of 22–24 months, after which there is a year of rest before they become pregnant again. and produce litters of between 3-16 pups. Naylor was able to further resolve the interrelationships of the "ridge-backed" branch of Carcharhinus, finding that the dusky shark, Galapagos shark, oceanic whitetip shark, and blue shark (Prionace glauca) comprise its most derived clade. The Dusky shark is often found with relatives the Sandbar shark, the Silky shark, the Oceanic Whitetip shark and several others in other locations. Late term females lack a large yolky ova; this is one reason why they have to wait a year to mate again (Romine, 2009). Due to these actions, the juvenile Dusky sharks have decimated populations of small bony fishes, with negative consequences for the biodiversity of the local ecosystem. The annual estimated growth rate is 3.1–4.3 inches over the first five years of its life. [8], The range of the dusky shark extends worldwide, albeit discontinuously, in tropical and warm-temperate waters. The litter size ranges from 3 to 16, with 6 to 12 being typical, and does not correlate with female size. This would be advantageous given the sharks' itinerant natures and low natural abundance, which would make encounters with suitable mates infrequent and unpredictable. Newborn and juvenile sharks subsist mainly on small pelagic prey such as sardines and squid; older sharks over 6.6 feet long will start to eat larger bony and cartilaginous fishes. Populations migrate seasonally towards the poles in the summer and towards the equator in the winter, traveling hundreds to thousands of kilometers. 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. [1] Litter size ranges from 3 to 16, with 6 to 12 being typical, and does not correlate with female size. [20] Depending on region, birthing may occur throughout the year or over a span of several months: newborn sharks have been reported from late winter to summer in the northwestern Atlantic, in summer and fall off Western Australia, and throughout the year with a peak in fall off southern Africa. The dusky shark is regarded as potentially dangerous to humans due to its large size, but there are few attacks attributable to it. 2 (Musick et al. Shark nets have had a negative impact on Dusky sharks. In one interesting South African study, recorded data confirmed that 0.2% of the sharks examined had preyed on Bottlenose dolphins. In the eastern Atlantic Ocean, it has been reported from the western and central Mediterranean Sea, the Canary Islands, Cape Verde, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and possibly elsewhere including Portugal, Spain, Morocco, and Madeira. Prionodon obvelatus Valenciennes, 1844 Females are capable of storing sperm for long periods, as their encounters with suitable mates may be few and far between due to their nomadic lifestyle and low overall abundance. Marine Biotechnology.). A low dorsal ridge is present between the dorsal fins. brachyurus. 8. [39] The bite force exerted by a 2 m (6.6 ft) long dusky shark has been measured at 60 kg (130 lb) over the 2 mm2 (0.0031 in2) area at the tip of a tooth. Aesthetic Identification: One of the first things you will notice about the Dusky shark is its slender, streamlined body. A dusky whaler litter contains 3–14 pups,2 possibly more, born at about 70–100 cm total length. [4] Adults are often found following ships far from land, such as in the Agulhas Current. [4][5] Females are capable of storing masses of sperm, possibly from multiple males, for months to years within their nidamental glands (an organ that secretes egg cases). The litter size of Dusky shark’s ranges from 3 to 16, with 6 to 12 being the average. A generalist apex predator, the dusky shark can be found from the coast to the outer continental shelf and adjacent pelagic waters, and has been recorded from a depth of 400 m (1,300 ft). [56], The New Zealand Department of Conservation has classified the dusky shark as "Migrant" with the qualifier "Secure Overseas" under the New Zealand Threat Classification System. longimanus). fins) are from prohibited species like the dusky shark, versus similar allowed species such as the sandbar shark. Reported up to 290 cm (9.7 ft). Females move into shallow inshore habitats like lagoons to give birth. For both the dusky and spinner shark, there was a linear increase in near-term pup mass with month, which may indicate variable parturition strategies and/or that carcharhinids are able to adjust the length of the gestation period. Possession limits on takes: 1 per person/2 per boat (with 2 or more people on board) combined limit for all shark species; Description: large, slender to moderately stout whaler The fins of young dusky sharks are usually darker than those older sharks. In 2005, North Carolina implemented a time/area closure to reduce the impact of recreational fishing. Current status The current status of dusky sharks in South African waters is not known. There is a 16 month gestation period. Galeolamna greyi* Owen, 1853 These nurseries offer their pups abundant food supplies and shelter from predation. These sharks are viviparous, ie they produce live young. This doesn’t seem to associate with the size of the female. Classification: Order It has 5 pairs of long gill slits. [7], Teeth belonging to the dusky shark are fairly well represented in the fossil record, though assigning Carcharhinus teeth to species can be problematic. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has assessed this species as Endangered worldwide and Vulnerable off the eastern United States, where populations have dropped to 15–20% of 1970s levels. Dusky sharks in the western Atlantic seem to produce slightly smaller litters than those from the southeastern Atlantic. It is one of the slowest growing shark species. With a gestation period estimated at up to 22–24 months and a one-year resting period between pregnancies, female dusky sharks bear at most one litter of young every three years. Juveniles do not travel as far as adult Dusky sharks, but overall, they are quite the traveling shark. And also, the praniza larvae of gnathiid isopods. Little is known or studied about its behavior towards humans underwater. First dorsal fin slopes2. Second dorsal fin has a free tip length rarely more than twice the fin height The species is born at 60-70 cm in size and litter sizes are 12-16 pups, with a 18 month gestation and a 3-year reproductive cycle. This is the highest figure thus far measured from any shark, though it also reflects the concentration of force at the tooth tip. [19] A tracking study off the mouth of the Cape Fear River in North Carolina reported an average swimming speed of 0.8 km/h (0.50 mph). Data on reproduction suggested a 3-year reproductive cycle consisting of a 2-year gestation period and a 1-year resting period. The young sharks, some 6 to 12 per litter, congregate at inshore nursery areas along the coasts of South Africa, the southeast United States, and southwest Australia. From 1978 to 1999, an average of 256 individual Dusky sharks were caught annually in nets off KwaZulu-Natal. [4][6] Other common names for this species include bay shark, black whaler, brown common gray shark, brown dusky shark, brown shark, common whaler, dusky ground shark, dusky whaler, river whaler, shovelnose, and slender whaler shark. Still-larger sharks, over 2.8 m (9.2 ft) long, migrate as far as southern Mozambique. [39] The dusky shark is one of the slowest-growing shark species, reaching sexual maturity only at a substantial size and age (see table). In South African and Australian waters, bony fishes are again the most important prey type. [4][18], The dusky shark is nomadic and strongly migratory, undertaking recorded movements of up to 3,800 km (2,400 mi); adults generally move longer distances than juveniles. Newborn and juvenile sharks subsist mainly on small pelagic prey such as sardines and squid; older sharks over 2 m (6.6 ft) long broaden their diets to include larger bony and cartilaginous fishes. On occasion, the larger Dusky sharks will eat sea turtles, marine mammals (mainly as carrion), and human refuse. [14], In 1982, Jack Garrick published a phylogenetic analysis of Carcharhinus based on morphology, in which he placed the dusky shark and the Galapagos shark (C. galapagensis) at the center of the "obscurus group". [51], In addition to commercial shark fisheries, dusky sharks are also caught as bycatch on longlines meant for tuna and swordfish (and usually kept for its valuable fins), and by recreational fishers. I’m worrie… [24] The dusky shark is one of the hosts of the sharksucker (Echeneis naucrates). The Dusky shark is commonly mistaken, and therefore some accounts of Dusky sharks from the northeastern and eastern central Atlantic, and around tropical islands, may be of Galapagos sharks. carcharhinid,the dusky shark [Carcharhinus obscurus (LeSu-eur, 1818)], was selected as a test species. They average 8 pups instead of 10 pups. Dusky sharks look a lot like your "typical" shark in that they are almost torpedo-shaped. In the western Atlantic Ocean, it is found from Massachusetts and the Georges Bank to southern Brazil, including Cuba and the Bahamas. Dusky sharks at Aliwal Shoal are seasonal visitors arriving over the winter months. Mostly medium and large Dusky sharks will be seen. Dusky sharks have a total length of at least 3.6 m (11.8 ft) or possibly to 4.2 m (13.8 ft). (Jr.) (1993). Behavioral Traits, Sensing and Intelligence: Dense aggregations of young sharks, forming in response to feeding opportunities, have been documented in the Indian Ocean. "Occurrence and feeding of three shark species, "The storage of spermatozoa in the oviducal glands of western North Atlantic sharks". Females also provision their young with energy reserves, stored in a liver that comprises one-fifth of the pup's weight, which sustains the newborn until it learns to hunt for itself. [36], Full-grown dusky sharks have no significant natural predators. All Rights Reserved. [5][23] Females move into shallow inshore habitats such as lagoons to give birth, as such areas offer their pups rich food supplies and shelter from predation (including from their own species), and leave immediately afterward. It is interesting that in some locations, despite this fact, some areas and locations seem to have much higher concentrations of Dusky sharks. 7. “Occurrence and feeding of three shark species, Carcharhinus brachyurus, C. obscurus and Sphyrna zygaena, on the eastern Cape coast of South Africa“. 2007 at 4; Morgan 2010 at 1) The international shark fin trade, an estimated $73 billion market, threatens the dusky shark’s continued existence. [22] The dermal denticles are diamond-shaped and closely set, each bearing five horizontal ridges leading to teeth on the posterior margin. The maximum lifespan of a Dusky shark is believed to be 40–50 years or more. In South Africa, there is no trace of seasonality. And they eat cartilaginous fishes like Dogfish, Sawsharks, Angel sharks, Catsharks, Thresher sharks, Smoothhounds, Sawfish, Guitarfish, Skates, Butterfly Rays, Stingrays, and even smaller requiem sharks. They have a litter size ranging from 3-14 pups in one litter, with each pup ranging from 70 to 100 centimeters in length (or as small as 48 cm). The litter size of Dusky shark’s ranges from 3 to 16, with 6 to 12 being the average. Average Size and Length: The average length of a dusky shark is 10 feet, but there have been some reports of larger female Dusky sharks reaching 14 feet long. Lifeguards close Town Beach this morning Live shortfin makos must be released unharmed to the water in Commonwealth managed fisheries operating off South Australia (outside 3 nm). Demographic, Distribution, Habitat, Environment and Range: The Dusky shark can be found worldwide in warm-temperate tropical waters. They do not go inshore to the newborn nurseries. Birth may occur over a long time span of several months in a given region, and has been reported as occurring from late winter to summer. Records of dusky sharks from the northeastern and eastern central Atlantic, and around tropical islands, may in fact be of Galapagos sharks. The mouth has very short, subtle furrows at the corners and contains 13-15 (typically 14) tooth rows on either side of both jaws. One account of a large female was 765 pounds. [52] The maximum lifespan is believed to be 40–50 years or more. They give nourishment to the pups by utilizing a yolk-sac placenta. Check out our videos with these species together! [55] To aid conservation efforts, molecular techniques using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) have been developed that can identify whether marketed shark parts (e.g. Sharks of the genus, Hoffmayer, E.R., Franks, J.S., Driggers, W.B. Females are mature when they are 9 ft (2.8 m) long and have litters of about 10 pups which are roughly 3 ft (95 cm) long each. Here in Jupiter that is true, and we see the three species together often. Endangered Species Act (ESA). (Smale, M.J. (1991). The average litter size is 10, with litters ranging between 2 and 14 pups (Last and Stevens, 2009; Romine et al., 2009). Age at maturity about 6 years, expected life span at least 18 years. You can find me in tropical and subtropical oceans around the world, and I make long seasonal migrations all the way from the Equator to the Poles. This is the highest figure so far measured from any shark, though it also reflects the concentration of force at the tooth tip. Dusky Sharks give birth to “litters” of pups, anywhere from 3-14 at a time! Reproduction Age and growth They can reach a maximum size of 284 cm precaudal length (377 cm total length) and a weight of 450 kg. 2005). It has a slender, streamlined body and can be identified by its short round snout, long sickle-shaped pectoral fins, ridge between the first and second dorsal fins, and faintly marked fins. Dusky sharks are seasonal here in Jupiter, check out our videos here to see them alongside Silkies, Sandbars, Lemons and Bulls! (Pank, M.; Stanhope, M.; Natanson, L.; Kohler, N. & Shivji, M. (May 2001). [1][5][19] Off Western Australia, adult and juvenile dusky sharks migrate towards the coast in summer and fall, though not to the inshore nurseries occupied by newborns. Speed: A tracking study off the mouth of the Cape Fear River in North Carolina reported an average swimming speed of a Dusky shark at 0.50 mph. The reproductive cycle of the dusky shark is three years with a gestation period of approximately two years and a one year resting period (Romine et … The females leave immediately after. Very rarely, the largest dusky sharks may also consume sea turtles, marine mammals (mainly as carrion), and human refuse. The coloration quickly fades to a dull gray after death. It is bronzy to bluish gray above and counter-shaded white below, which extends onto the flanks as a faint stripe. [3][4] Subsequent authors have recognized this species as belonging to the genus Carcharhinus. Dusky sharks also eat demersal fishes, including mullets, porgies, grunts, and flatheads, eels, lizardfish, cusk eels, gurnards, and flatfish. The species grows very slowly; it matures in 17 … [51] In addition, the meat is sold fresh, frozen, dried and salted, or smoked, the skin is made into leather, and the liver oil is processed for vitamins. Environmental Biology of Fishes). Size at sexual maturity is ~2.8 m at 18 years of age and they grow slowly. The Dusky shark has been recorded as deep as 1,300 feet. These species are viviparous and have the litter size of 4-20 but averaging 10-20 per litter. For example, for viviparous sharks, litter size ranges from six for the basking shark to 82 for the blue shark, Prionace glauca. Females become sexually mature at about 3.0 meters (10 feet, 17-22 years), while males become sexually mature at 2.9 meters (9.5 feet, 20-23 years). (April 20, 2009). Mitochondrial DNA and microsatellite evidence suggest that Indonesian and Australian sharks represent distinct populations. Bycatch and recreational fishing have produced very negative consequences to the Dusky shark. The litter size ranges from 3 to 16, with 6 to 12 being typical, and does not correlate with female size. Garrick, J.A.f. Sharks along both coasts of North America shift northward with warmer summer temperatures, and retreat back towards the equator in winter. The north Atlantic population has a yearly seasonal reproductive cycle and the mating season occurring from mid to late summer. [21] This shark has a slender, streamlined body with a broadly rounded snout no longer than the width of the mouth. The Sardine run is full of energy from the smallest being to the largest. [46][48][49] The annual growth rate is 8–11 cm (3.1–4.3 in) over the first five years of life. Larger Dusky sharks can devour a tenth of its body weight in one feeding. Galeolamna eblis Whitley, 1944 Has seven gill slits and only 1 dorsal fin, with scattered black spots. Major predators of young Dusky sharks include the Great White shark, Ragged Tooth shark, the Bull shark, and the Tiger shark. [9] Dusky shark teeth dating to the Miocene (23-5.3 Ma) have been recovered from the Kendeace and Grand Bay formations in Carriacou, the Grenadines,[10] the Moghra Formation in Egypt,[11] Polk County, Florida,[12] and possibly Cerro La Cruz in northern Venezuela. Tail: The caudal fin is large and high, with a well-developed lower lobe and a ventral notch near the tip of the upper lobe. On another occasion here in Jupiter, a migratory returning resident Dusky shark local call Rhonda, seems to always hold interest in divers, and has a hard time finding any other interest when divers are present. Their snout is a little shorter than most others and they have a low interdorsal ridge. In the Indian Ocean, the Dusky shark can be found off South Africa, Mozambique, and Madagascar, with some records in the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal, and even the Red Sea. Size at birth between 70 and 100 cm. Here in Florida it is typical to see Silkies, Sandbar sharks and Dusky sharks together, and on occasion, we have seen Oceanic Whitetips with the. The preferred temperature is between 66-82 degrees F. They do not care for low salinity waterways. [23][38] A large individual can consume over a tenth of its body weight at a single sitting. The reproductive cycle differs from region to region. [1][4], Newborn dusky sharks measure 0.7–1.0 m (2.3–3.3 ft) long;[1] pup size increases with female size, and decreases with litter size. This would be advantageous given the sharks’ itinerant natures and low natural abundance, which would make encounters with suitable mates infrequent and unpredictable. Cartilaginous fishes, mainly skates and their egg cases, are the second-most important, and the lady crab is also a favorite. [51], The dusky shark is considered to be potentially dangerous to humans because of its large size, though little is known of how it behaves towards people underwater. Dusky Sharks give birth to “litters” of pups, anywhere from 3-14 at a time! The nostrils are preceded by barely developed flaps of skin. © Planet Shark Divers, 2018. "Dusky Sharks While Filming Bluewater Savages" footage of dusky sharks and an underwater videography team. Newborn Dusky sharks measure between 2.3–3.3 feet long. [7] Dusky sharks are taken by targeted commercial fisheries operating off eastern North America, southwestern Australia, and eastern South Africa using multi-species longlines and gillnets. 75154). Depending on region, birthing may happen throughout the year or over a span of several months: newborn sharks have been reported from late winter to summer in the northwestern Atlantic, in summer and fall off Western Australia, and throughout the year with a peak in fall off southern Africa. Juveniles spend spring and summer in the surf zone and fall and winter in offshore waters, and as they approach 7.2 feet in length begin to conduct a north-south migration between KwaZulu-Natal in the winter and the Western Cape in summer. Adult dusky sharks have a broad and varied diet, consisting mostly of bony fishes, sharks and rays, and cephalopods, but also occasionally crustaceans, sea stars, bryozoans, sea turtles, marine mammals, carrion, and garbage. At Aliwal Shoal . Some research suggests this could be due to their nee to conserve energy. Juvenile Dusky sharks are caught as sport fishing in South Africa and eastern Australia. He placed it in the genus Squalus and gave it the specific epithet obscurus (Latin for "dark" or "dim"), referring to its coloration. Females also provision their young with energy reserves, stored in a liver that comprises one-fifth of the pup’s weight, which sustains the newborn until it learns to hunt for itself. The fishery utilizes selective demersal gillnets that take almost exclusively young sharks under three years old, with 18–28% of all newborns captured in their first year. Some of these nursery areas are known along the coasts of KwaZulu-Natal, southwestern Australia, western Baja California, and the eastern United States from New Jersey to North Carolina. (2009). The dusky shark attains large sizes, reaching 360 cm Total Length (TL) (Castro 1993). In the eastern Atlantic Ocean, it has been reported from the western and central Mediterranean Sea, the Canary Islands, Cape Verde, Sierra Leone, and Senegal. Some locations commonly mistake Sandbar sharks for Dusky sharks. There have been some accounts in Madeira, Portugal, Spain, and Morocco. The fins, mainly the underside of the pectoral fins and the lower caudal fin lobe darken towards the tips. [20] This species is bronzy to bluish gray above and white below, which extends onto the flanks as a faint lighter stripe. Squalus obscurus Lesueur, 1818. The first dorsal fin is of moderate size and somewhat falcate, with a pointed apex and a strongly concave rear margin; its origin lies over the pectoral fin free rear tips. Dusky Smooth-hounds go up to a maximum size of 150 cm. They both exhibit a late age at maturity, small litter size, and long reproductive cycle (Compagno et al. It is also esteemed by recreational fishers. [53] However, attacks attributed to this species off Bermuda and other islands were probably in reality caused by Galapagos sharks. [5] One tracking study in the northern Gulf of Mexico found that it spends most of its time at depths of 10–80 m (33–262 ft), while making occasional forays below 200 m (660 ft); this species has been known to dive as deep as 400 m (1,300 ft). Denticles: The dermal denticles of a Dusky shark are diamond-shaped and closely set, each has five horizontal ridges leading to teeth on the posterior margin. Due to its position in the ecosystem, it is usually less abundant than the other sharks that share its range. In the northwestern Atlantic, about 60% of the Dusky shark’s diet consists of bony fishes, with bluefish and summer flounder being particularly important. [1], One of the largest members of its genus, the dusky shark commonly reaches a length of 3.2 m (10 ft) and a weight of 160–180 kg (350–400 lb); the maximum recorded length and weight are 4.2 m (14 ft) and 347 kg (765 lb) respectively. A female only gives birth about every 3 years. Size Range: Common length — 70–400cm; Size limits on takes: Maximum size 150cm; or interdorsal length 60cm max. I’m a big guy (reaching up to 400 lbs! After 16 months gestation the … A low dorsal ridge is present between the dorsal fins. Dusky sharks have a color of Gray or beige. The upper teeth are broad, triangular, and slightly oblique with strong, coarse serrations, while the lower teeth are narrower and upright, with finer serrations. Dusky sharks can oftentimes be found with Sandbar sharks and Silky sharks. [9] Dusky shark teeth have also been recovered from the vicinity of two baleen whales in North Carolina, one preserved in Goose Creek Limestone dating to the Late Pliocene (c. 3.5 Ma), and the other in mud dating to the Pleistocene-Holocene (c. 12,000 years ago). Distinct pairing with embrace. There is evidence that females can determine the size at which their pups are born, so as to improve their chances of survival across better or worse environmental conditions. 244); 70-100 cm at birth (Ref. The large pectoral fins measure around one-fifth as long as the body, and have a falcate (sickle-like) shape tapering to a point. The group consisted of large, triangular-toothed sharks with a ridge between the dorsal fins, and also included the bignose shark (C. altimus), the Caribbean reef shark (C. perezi), the sandbar shark (C. plumbeus), and the oceanic whitetip shark. "Age and growth estimates for the dusky shark, "The condition conundrum: application of multiple condition indices to the dusky shark. [4][5][38][41], In the northwestern Atlantic, around 60% of the dusky shark's diet consists of bony fishes, from over ten families with bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix) and summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus) being especially important. For the dusky shark, there was a trade-off between increasing litter size and near- term pup mass in support of optimal offspring size theory. [1][2] Mitochondrial DNA and microsatellite evidence suggest that Indonesian and Australian sharks represent distinct populations. It prefers water temperatures of 19–28 °C (66–82 °F), and avoids areas of low salinity such as estuaries. Carcharhinus iranzae Fourmanoir, 1961 This doesn’t seem to associate with the size of the female. From our personal experience, on one occasion, a Dusky shark off the coast of Texas at an oil rig behaved in an inquisitive manner, swimming in and out of a group of divers cautiously, then after about 15 minutes, swam off. [4][43] These nursery areas are known along the coasts of KwaZulu-Natal, southwestern Australia, western Baja California, and the eastern United States from New Jersey to North Carolina. Mating occurs during spring in the northwestern Atlantic, while there appears to be no reproductive seasonality in other regions such as off South Africa. Dusky Shark Recorded Attacks on Humans: The Dusky shark is potentially dangerous to humans. French naturalist Charles Alexandre Lesueur published the first scientific description of the dusky shark in an 1818 issue of Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. The dusky shark (Carcharhinus obscurus) is a species of requiem shark, in the family Carcharhinidae, occurring in tropical and warm-temperate continental seas worldwide. Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. [42][43] The run of the southern African pilchard (Sardinops sagax), occurring off the eastern coast of South Africa every winter, is attended by medium and large-sized dusky sharks. In the Pacific Ocean, the Dusky shark can be found off the coast of Japan, mainland China and Taiwan, Vietnam, Australia, and New Caledonia in the west, and from southern California to the Gulf of California, around Revillagigedo, and even possibly off northern Chile. In the Pacific Ocean, it occurs off Japan, mainland China and Taiwan, Vietnam, Australia, and New Caledonia in the west, and from southern California to the Gulf of California, around Revillagigedo, and possibly off northern Chile in the east. Distinct pairing with embrace (Ref. In 1997, the dusky shark was identified as a Species of Concern by the NMFS, meaning that it warranted conservation concern but there was insufficient information for listing on the U.S. Teeth and Jaw: The mouth of a Dusky shark has very short, subtle furrows at the corners and contains 13-15 (normally 14) tooth rows on either side of both jaws. The dusky shark is one of the hosts of the sharksu… They have a maximum size of between 2.5 metre to 4 metres in length depending on the species, and are often grey to dusky bronze in colour. Therefore, C. lamiella is not considered a synonym of C. obscurus but rather of C. From 1978 to 1999, an average of 256 individuals were caught annually in nets off KwaZulu-Natal; species-specific data is not available for nets off Australia. The Dusky shark does however prefer hunting towards the bottom. They are very slow growing and have been aged up to a maximum of 70 years. [51], Young dusky sharks adapt well to display in public aquariums. Dusky sharks can sometimes be found following ships far from land. The dusky shark is assessed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as “Vulnerable A2bd” worldwide, with populations in the Northwest Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico being considered “Endangered” (Musick et One interesting theory suggests that female Dusky sharks can determine the size which their pups are born, so as to improve their chances of survival across better or worse environmental conditions. [15] This interpretation was largely upheld by Leonard Compagno in his 1988 phenetic study,[16] and by Gavin Naylor in his 1992 allozyme sequence study. Males mature at about 280 cm, females mature between 260 cm and 300 cm. [1] Off South Africa, young males and females over 0.9 m (3.0 ft) long disperse southward and northward respectively (with some overlap) from the nursery area off KwaZulu-Natal; they join the adults several years later by a yet-unidentified route. 1. [20] Major predators of young sharks include the ragged tooth shark (Carcharias taurus), the great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias), the bull shark (C. leucas), and the tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier). The Dusky Shark is a lesser known, large coastal shark found in coastal waters worldwide. Ram-Suction Index: The bite force recorded of a 6.6-foot-long Dusky shark has been measured at 130 pounds over the 0.0031 in2 area at the tip of a tooth. The Dusky shark is positioned as an apex predator at the top trophic web. The large pectoral fins measure around one-fifth as long as the body, and have a falcate shape tapering to a point. The upper teeth are distinctively broad, triangular, and slightly oblique with strong, coarse serrations, while the lower teeth are narrower and upright, with finer serrations. The pup size does increase with female size or decreases with litter size. For aplaental viviparous sharks, litter size ranges from two for the bigeye and pelagic thresher shark [21, 22] to more than 300 for the whale shark (S1 Table). The meat is sold fresh, frozen, dried and salted, or smoked, the skin is made into leather, and the liver oil is processed for vitamins. Pregnant and post-partum females do not join, possibly because the energy cost of gestation leaves them unable to pursue such swift prey. Viviparous, with a yolk-sac placenta, litter size 3-14 pups ; 70-100 cm at birth. [5] As of 2009, the International Shark Attack File lists it as responsible for six attacks on people and boats, three of them unprovoked and one fatal. [40] Dense aggregations of young sharks, forming in response to feeding opportunities, have been documented in the Indian Ocean. They average 8 pups instead of 10 pups. In turn, the juvenile sharks have decimated populations of small bony fishes, with negative consequences for the biodiversity of the local ecosystem. 7. “The storage of spermatozoa in the oviducal glands of western North Atlantic sharks“. Because of its slow reproductive rate, the dusky shark is very vulnerable to human-caused population depletion. The Dusky shark was once one of the most important species in the Florida trophy shark tournaments before the population collapsed. The Dusky Whaler grows to 3.65 m in length. This page was last edited on 24 October 2020, at 18:02. (March 26, 2009). (III) and Grace, M.A. [1], The known diet of the dusky shark encompasses pelagic fishes, including herring and anchovies, tuna and mackerel, billfish, jacks, needlefish and flyingfish, threadfins, hairtails, lancetfish, and lanternfish; demersal fishes, including mullets, porgies, grunts, and flatheads, eels, lizardfish, cusk eels, gurnards, and flatfish; reef fishes, including barracudas, goatfish, spadefish, groupers, scorpionfish, and porcupinefish; cartilaginous fishes, including dogfish, sawsharks, angel sharks, catsharks, thresher sharks, smoothhounds, smaller requiem sharks, sawfish, guitarfish, skates, stingrays, and butterfly rays; and invertebrates, including cephalopods, decapod crustaceans, barnacles, and sea stars. Stocks off the eastern United States are severely overfished; a 2006 stock assessment survey by the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) showed that its population had dropped to 15–20% of 1970s levels. South African Journal of Marine Science.). The caudal fin is large and high, with a well-developed lower lobe and a ventral notch near the tip of the upper lobe. The Dusky shark spends most of its time at depths of 33–262 feet, while making occasional ventures below 660 feet. Tracking. Large numbers of dusky sharks, mostly juveniles, are caught by sport fishers off South Africa and eastern Australia. But sometimes rarely off southern California; common in tropics. As an apex predator positioned at the highest level of the trophic web, the dusky shark is generally less abundant than other sharks that share its range. Based on our observational studies here with Rhonda, her behavior may have been influenced by external factors. fins) are from prohibited species like the Dusky shark, versus similar allowed species such as the Sandbar shark. Viviparous, with a yolk-sac placenta, litter size 3-14 pups (Ref. Females grow larger than males. Diet: The Dusky shark will eat a variety of food, and from all water column levels; it surely isn’t picky. For the dusky shark, there was a trade-off between increasing litter size and near-term pup mass in support of optimal offspring size theory. The Dusky shark is nomadic and strongly migratory, with recorded distances of up to 2,400 miles. The medium-sized, circular eyes are equipped with nictitating membranes (protective third eyelids). Humans use shark nets to protect beaches in South Africa and Australia, and they entangle adult and larger juvenile Dusky sharks in large quantities. In addition, juveniles spend spring and summer in the surf zone and fall and winter in offshore waters, and as they approach 2.2 m (7.2 ft) in length begin to conduct a north-south migration between KwaZulu-Natal in the winter and the Western Cape in summer. First dorsal fin originates over or slightly before free tips of pectoral fins3. [17], Residing off continental coastlines from the surf zone to the outer continental shelf and adjacent oceanic waters, the dusky shark occupies an intermediate habitat that overlaps with its more specialized relatives, such as the inshore sandbar shark, the pelagic silky shark (C. falciformis) and oceanic whitetip shark, the deepwater bignose shark, and the islandic Galapagos shark and silvertip shark (C. Biology and Reproduction: Known parasites of the Dusky shark are the tapeworms: Anthobothrium laciniatum, Dasyrhynchus pacificus, Platybothrium kirstenae, Floriceps saccatus, Tentacularia coryphaenae, and Triloculatum triloculatum. Dusky sharks are one of the slowest-growing and latest-maturing sharks, not reaching adulthood until around 20 years of age. They eat a lot. Carcharias macrurus Ramsay & Ogilby, 1887 One of the largest members of its genus, the silky shark commonly reaches a length of 2.5 m (8.2 ft), with a maximum recorded length and weight of 3.5 m (11 ft) and 346 kg (763 lb), respectively. Dusky sharks also carry the copepods Alebion sp., Pandarus cranchii, P. sinuatus, and P. smithii. This shark was once one of the most important species in the Florida trophy shark tournaments, before the population collapsed.[51]. Another area where we have seen higher concentrations would be at offshore oil rigs. Litter sizes ranged from 3–12 embryos. In South African waters birth may occur year-round with an increase in autumn. Dusky sharks reside off continental coastlines from the surf zone to the outer continental shelf and adjacent oceanic waters. [4][39] Sharks in the western Atlantic tend to produce slightly smaller litters than those from the southeastern Atlantic (averaging 8 versus 10 pups per litter). I’m a big ocean predator who loves to travel! There may be no correlation between maternal size and litter size in this shark, unlike some other species of Carcharhinus. About 10 young comprise a litter of pups that are born at about 3 feet (90 cm). (1982). The Dusky shark (Carcharhinus obscurus) is a species of requiem shark, in the family Carcharhinidae, that can be found in tropical and warm-temperate continental seas worldwide. albimarginatus). The fins, particularly the underside of the pectoral fins and the lower caudal fin lobe) darken towards the tips; this is more obvious in juveniles. Dusky sharks are taken by targeted commercial fisheries operating off eastern North America, southwestern Australia, and eastern South Africa using multi-species longlines and gillnets. The known invertebrates in their diet are cephalopods, decapod crustaceans, sea stars and barnacles. They are viviparous and females give birth to a litter of 6 to 14 pups. Dusky sharks travel long migratory journeys distances up to 2400 miles. They also carry the leech Stibarobdella macrothela. With a gestation period estimated at up to 22–24 months and a one-year resting period between pregnancies, female dusky sharks bear at most one litter of young every three years. [23] Dusky sharks can be found at Redondo Beach, southern California to the Gulf of California, and to Ecuador. The nostrils have small skin flaps, and they have circular eyes that are medium in size with nictitating membranes. [45], With a gestation period estimated at up to 22–24 months and a one-year resting period between pregnancies, female dusky sharks bear at most one litter of young every three years. [5][37], The dusky shark is a generalist that takes a wide variety of prey from all levels of the water column, though it favors hunting near the bottom. To support conservation efforts, molecular techniques using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) have been developed that can identify whether marketed shark parts (e.g. However, high concentrations of individuals, especially juveniles, can be found at particular locations. [20] Its very low reproductive rate renders the dusky shark extremely susceptible to overfishing. [5], The dusky shark is one of the most sought-after species for shark fin trade, as its fins are large and contain a high number of internal rays (ceratotrichia).