The whitetip reef shark earns its common name from the conspicuous white tips found on the first dorsal and upper caudal fins, occasionally found also on the second dorsal and lower caudal fins (4) (5). Small dark spots are scattered across the body, which is grey-brown in colour, fading to white on the underside (4). This small shark is moderately slender with a broad and flattened head, rounded snout, down-slanted mouth and large eyes (3) (4). The whitetip reef shark can be distinguished from the similar silvertip (Carcharhinus albimarginatus) and oceanic whitetip (Carcharhinus longimanus) sharks by being much smaller and more slender, by lacking the white tips these two sharks have on the pectoral fins, and by possessing a second dorsal fin that is significantly larger than in these two species (3) (5).
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