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Whitetip reef shark

Whitetip reef shark in Galapagos
© Shutterstock / RLS Photo

Common name:

Whitetip reef shark

Scientific name:

Triaenodon obesus

Spanish name:

Tiburón coralero ñato

Conservation status:



Average lifespan:

14 - 19 years

Average size:

1.5 metres

Maximum size:

2.13 metres

Average weight:

10 kilograms

Maximum weight:

18.3 kilograms


The whitetip reef shark – also referred to as the blunthead shark – is quite sluggish compared to other species within the Triaenodon family and they are small to medium in size. Unlike the blacktip shark, which have black marks on the end of their fins, the whitetip has white marks. They have a noticeably slender body with a grey to brownish upper side and a white or greyish underside. 

During the day, many sharks crowd into caves, usually stacking themselves on top of each other. Whitetips normally return to the same cave or crevice every day, sometimes for years. During the dark hours of night or under calm waters, however, they hunt smaller reef inhabitants that are hidden within the coral. 

Whitetip reef sharks in Galapagos

How you can help

Please help us conserve the endangered sharks of Galapagos by donating today or by adopting a hammerhead shark.

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