Silky Shark, Carcharhinus falciformis Click to enlarge image
An 80 cm long Silky Shark bought at Sydney Fish Market by Bernard Yau in March 2003. Image: Sally Reader
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    falciformis
    Genus
    Carcharhinus
    Family
    Carcharhinidae
    Order
    Carcharhiniformes
    Class
    Chondrichthyes
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    It grows to 3.3m in length.

Introduction

The Silky Shark is a slender species that occurs in tropical and some warm temperate waters worldwide.

Identification

The Silky Shark has a slender body with a low ridge between the dorsal fins. It has long pectoral fins and a heterocercal tail. The second dorsal and anal fins have long free rear tips. It has serrated triangular teeth in the upper jaw. The lower jaw teeth are more slender and smooth-edged.

The species is uniform grey to dark brown above and white below. The first dorsal fin is uniformly coloured. The other fins may have dusky tips.

Habitat

It is found in continental shelf and oceanic waters, primarily close to land.

Distribution

The Silky Shark occurs in tropical and some warm temperate waters worldwide.

In Australia it is known from south-western Western Australia, around the tropical north of the country and down the east coast to central New South Wales.



References

  1. Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 292.
  2. Allen, G.R. & R. Swainston. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 201.
  3. Last, P.R. & J.D. Stevens. 1994. Sharks and Rays of Australia. CSIRO. Pp. 513.
  4. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.