Requiem sharks are one of the largest and best-known families of sharks. Their torpedo-shaped bodies range in length from less than a metre to over seven metres. Most are voracious predators of other fish, octopus, marine mammals and seabirds. The 52 species are all quite similar in appearance, so telling individual species apart can be very tricky. Tiger, lemon and whitetip reef sharks are some of the more familiar species; the family also includes the intriguingly named bignose, nervous and daggernose sharks. Requiem sharks are responsible for a high proportion of the reported attacks on humans.
Scientific name: Carcharhinidae
The following habitats are found across the Requiem sharks distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.
Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.
Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web
Requiem sharks are a family, Carcharhinidae, of sharks in the order Carcharhiniformes, containing migratory, live-bearing sharks of warm seas (sometimes of brackish or fresh water) such as the tiger shark, the blue shark, the bull shark, and the milk shark.
The name may be related to the French word for shark, requin, itself of disputed etymology (chien de mer or Latin requiem ("rest"), which would thereby create a cyclic etymology: requiem-requin-requiem).
Family members have the usual carcharhiniform characteristics. The eyes are round, and the pectoral fins are completely behind the five gill slits. Most species are viviparous, the young being born fully developed. They vary widely in size, from as little as 69 centimetres (2.26 ft) adult length in the Australian sharpnose shark, up to 5.5 metres (18 ft) adult length in the tiger shark.
Requiem sharks are responsible for a large proportion of attacks on humans; however, due to the difficulty in identifying individual species, there is a degree of inaccuracy in attack records.
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