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|These sharks are one of the most
common and interesting species off SC. They range from NC to the Gulf of Mexico.
The Pacific Ocean species of Blacktip (C. melanopterus) has black coloration down
the entirety of the rear of the caudal fin. They differ from the Atlantic species in
behavior and metabolism.
The Blacktip is a very aggressive "hot-blooded" animal. They swim fast and have good strength. They commonly follow boats seeking out a free meal. As opportunistic feeders, they will eat practically anything. Part of their behavior and feeding habits are tied in to their metabolic rate. They range warm to hot water. Their speed in the water and presence in hot waters requires them to eat more. They will boldly feed at the surface. They have to feed often. This makes them one of the most commonly caught sharks in their range. Few fisherman have not seen a Blacktip.
They pup in warmer waters and have the ability to hide in brackish and even fresh water as juveniles. Fortunately, they have small teeth. This is especially good as these sharks are frequent attackers of swimmers and surfers.
Most attacks by blacktop's are accidental. Most result in heavy stitches but rarely if ever any loss of life. As they chase bait fish at the surface, it is common for them to miss identify surfers. Their bold nature makes them a mild threat to surfers.
This species DOES NOT survive handling or transport for aquarium display. Just like the Spinner shark, they will leap out of the water several feet into the air. They would jump out of an aquarium display if they survived transport to the aquarium. The metabolic rate of this species makes them absolutely unsuitable for transport even as a newborn. They are active in water over 85 degrees F.