Blacktip Reef Shark
The blacktip reef shark is one of the "sharkiest"-looking species among these predators at Shedd. Blacktips are obligate ram ventilators, which means that they have to keep swimming to push oxygen-carrying water over their gills to breathe.
A species to watch
Right now, blacktips are one of the most common reef sharks throughout the Indo-Pacific region, from Africa to Hawaii and Japan to northern Australia. But the species is considered "near threatened." Blacktips' small litters and long gestation means populations could rapidly decline from overfishing, drowning in abandoned fishing nets and changes in the ocean environment. Shedd's success breeding blacktips advances our knowledge and helps support a sustainable population among aquariums.
What are the odds?
While a black-tipped dorsal fin breaking the surface in a tropical bay might send swimmers splashing toward the shore, these wary sharks are more frightened of us. The chance of death by shark is 1 in 3,748,067. Cars, lightning, fireworks and even vending machines (don’t shake one for that stuck candy bar) are way deadlier. On the other hand, scientists calculate that at least 100 million sharks are killed each year, most of them solely for their fins for soup.
Sharks and Storms: Shedd Field Research in the Bahamas
The weather is beautiful, and the water is calm: perfect conditions for studying sharks.
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What do sharks and the Great Lakes have in common? The short answer is not much.
Meet the Sharks
From reef sharks in constant motion to small deep-ocean sharks resting vertically on a rock wall, these awe-inspiring predators are found across our oceans—and throughout Shedd Aquarium. Elegantly slicing through the water, each is different from the next, but all display an eye-catching mixture of beauty and grace. Look closer at the sharks that call Shedd home.
Whitespotted Bamboo Shark