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Dusky shark

Scientific name: Carcharhinus obscurus
The dusky sharkThe dusky shark gets its name from its dark, indistinct coloration. It undertakes long, seasonal, temperature-related migrations. It is a relative of the "Carcharhinus brachyurus"(the copper shark) with which it is confused in Australia because of its color.

These sharks can live up to 40-50 years. This large, slender shark has a short rounded snout. It is slate blue to mid-grey dorsally, fading to white ventrally with an indistinct lighter horizontal band on the flanks.

It is found off continental coasts including the Mediterranean, Red Sea and, commonly, southeast Africa. It is a coastal species inhabiting warm-temperate and tropical waters, it is found on continental and insular shelves, both offshore and inshore from the surface down to 400m.

The dusky shark eats numerous bony fish, other sharks, rays, octopuses and other cephalopods and crustaceans. They will also scavenge on whale carcasses.

They are migratory by nature. It is not considered a particular threat to humans, its main predator is it's close relative- the bull shark.

Fertilization in them takes place internally, resulting in 3-14 pups. The females move briefly inshore to give birth and, apparently, mate each alternate year, with parturition occurring over a period of several months. They are viviparous, the young being nourished by a placenta

Dusky sharks are regularly taken on commercial longlines, and fished for their fins. The International World Conservation Union (IUCN) site them as being of lower risk, but near threatened.

Statistics: These sharks can grow to about 3.5m.

Dusky Shark Classification:
  • Kingdom Animalia (animals)
  • Phylum Chordata
  • Subphylum Vertebrata (vertebrates)
  • Class Chondrichthyes (cartilaginous fish)
  • Subclass Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays)
  • Order Carcharhiniformes
  • Family Cetorhinidae
  • Genus Carcharhinus
  • Species brachyurus


Shark Info Sheet
Basking shark
Blue shark
Bronze whaler shark
Bull sharks
Dogfish shark
Dusky shark
Great hammerhead
Great White shark
Grey Reef Shark
Horn shark
Leopard shark
Oceanic whitetip
Salmon shark
Sand tiger sharks
Scalloped hammerhea-
Shortfin mako
Sixgill shark
Sleeper shark
Tiger shark
Whale shark
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