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Requiem sharks are sharks of the family Carcharhinidae in the order Carcharhiniformes. They are migratory, live-bearing sharks of warm seas (sometimes of brackish or fresh water) such as the spinner shark, the blacknose shark, the blacktip shark, the grey reef shark, the blacktip reef shark, and the Oceanic whitetip shark.

Requiem sharks
Temporal range: Early Cretaceouspresent
Tiger shark.jpg
A tiger shark, Galeocerdo cuvier
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Order: Carcharhiniformes
Family: Carcharhinidae
D. S. Jordan & Evermann, 1896
Blacktip reef shark, Carcharhinus melanopterus
Spinner shark, Carcharhinus brevipinna, from the Gulf of Mexico
Galapagos shark, Carcharhinus galapagensis
Lemon shark, Negaprion brevirostris, at Tiger Beach, Bahamas
Blue shark, Prionace glauca

The name may be related to the French word for shark, requin, which is itself of disputed etymology. One derivation of the latter is from Latin requiem ("rest"), which would thereby create a cyclic etymology (requiem-requin-requiem), but other sources derive it from the verb reschignier ("to grimace while baring teeth").

Family members have the usual carcharhiniform characteristics. Their eyes are round, and one or two gill slits fall over the pectoral fin base. Most species are viviparous, the young being born fully developed. They vary widely in size, from as small as 69 cm (2.26 ft) adult length in the Australian sharpnose shark, up to 5.5 m (18 ft) adult length in the tiger shark.[1]

Requiem sharks are involved in a large proportion of attacks on humans, among the top five species;[2] however, due to the difficulty in identifying individual species, a degree of inaccuracy exists in attack records.[3]

Hunting StrategiesEdit

Requiem sharks are incredibly fast and effective hunters. Their elongated, torpedo-shaped bodies make them quick and agile swimmers, so they can easily attack any prey. They have a range of food sources depending on their location and species that includes bony fish, squids, octopuses, lobsters, turtles, marine animals, seabirds, other sharks and rays. They are often considered the ‘garbage cans’ of the seas because they will eat almost anything, even non-food items like trash. They are migratory hunters that follow their food source across entire oceans. They tend to be most active at night time, where their impressive eyesight can help them sneak up on unsuspecting prey. Most Requiem Sharks hunt alone, however some species like the White Tip Reef Sharks and Lemon Sharks are cooperative feeders and will hunt in packs through coordinated, timed attacks against their prey.

ClassificationEdit

The 60 species of requiem shark are grouped into 12 genera:[1]

† = extinct

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Compagno, L.J.V. Family Carcharhinidae - Requiem sharks in Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2010. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication, version (10/2013).
  2. ^ "Species Implicated in Attacks". Florida Museum. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
  3. ^ ISAF Statistics on Attacking Species of Shark Archived July 24, 2009, at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit