Hello, I am Charlie, a male, 2.5m long oceanic whitetip shark (Carcharhinus longimanus ). I live in the surrounding waters of the Brother Islands (Red Sea). The white markings on the tip of my dorsal fin serve as a recognition signal, so that we can recognize each other with the members of my species, and will not begin to hunt each other! We can grow quite large; gigantic specimens may reach 3.5-3.95m, but most are less than 3m. My behaviour is to say the least, unpredictable. It is sometimes slow, lazy, and stubborn, but often aggressive and dangerous. What divers may see is the difference between excited predatory behaviour and normal “cruising” behaviour. As a pelagic shark I never stop swimming - most sharks are denser than water, and if we stop swimming, we will sink - so most of the time I slowly cruise along at the surface. However, when I sense food, I go into “predatory mode” which is marked by increased speed and aggressiveness. At my “dinner table” often dominate other pelagic sharks, like the silky shark, as long as the other shark is not much bigger than myself! I am very inquisitive, persistent and bold when it comes to checking out possible food sources, and will investigate almost anything they come across, including divers! My species does not seem to be endangered in any way, despite the fact that we are regularly caught on open ocean longlines (and then used for meat, fins and vitamins ). Hopefully it will remain this way, so I can continue to help maintain the ecological balance in the open ocean, and continue to amaze you with my remarkable behaviour and lifestyles. If you want to visit, I’ll be there, and promise will not bite you!
by Monika May. 11, 2007 4240 views