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Sandbar shark

Carcharhinus plumbeus




1.8 to 2 m
Oceans and seas
Central America and Caribbean



It has a massive and stocky body with a very high first dorsal fin.
The back, sides and fins are solid grey. Its belly is white.
Its nose large and round.

Biology and ecology

Sandbar sharks are viviparous, meaning their embryos develop inside the uterus of the female. The females provide the nutrients that are necessary to their development, by means of a placenta and an umbilical cord. Gestation typically lasts 10 to 14 months, depending on the temperature. The females can give birth to up to 16 babies measuring 60 cm (2 ft) each. Sandbar sharks need to keep moving at all times, because they don't have any branchial muscles, so they have to swim continuously in order to breathe.


Their presence in "by-catches" has caused their population to decline. In some places, they are intentionally caught for their fins, which are then sold on the Asian market. Its meat is not consumed.


The Marineland aquarium team has been breeding gray sharks since 2000. Each year, one female in the basin gives birth to 8 babies on average, establishing a conservation program to which other public aquariums adhere. The young sharks are transferred to other establishments in France and Europe, putting an end to catches in the wild. You can observe in the basin 3 generations of this species with the youngest born the previous year.