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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

Sea-riously Cool Spinner Shark Facts For Kids

To learn more about this shark, read these Spinner Shark facts.

The Spinner Shark, also known as Carcharhinus brevipinna, belongs to the family Carcharhinidae and genus Carcharhinus. A Spinner Shark can be found in the western and eastern Atlantic Ocean, which includes places like North Carolina, parts of the Gulf of Mexico, the Bahamas, and Cuba, North Africa, and Namibia. It also inhabits the Indian Ocean that includes parts of Southern Africa and Madagascar. Other locations include the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, India, and some nearby islands. On the Pacific Ocean side, it is known to be found in Japan, Australia, and Vietnam. The habitat consists of coastal waters, far from the shore, and over continental shelves. Some species are migratory and are found in warm temperate inshore waters, and they move into deeper water. This shark's slender body is gray to bronze in color with white underparts and has a pointed snout. The eyes are small and rounded. The first dorsal fin is small and starts at the same height as the end of the pectoral fin. These species of sharks do not have a ridge between the first and second dorsal fins. The pectoral fins are short, narrow, and shaped like a sickle and all these fins have black tips. The feeding strategy includes moving above the bait balls at a high speed with a wide-open mouth and the spinner shark diet primarily consists of small bony fish. The Spinner shark attack or Spinner shark bite is not considered to be extremely dangerous to humans. It is quite gripping to know about the Spinner Sharks species and if you're interested, read about the basking shark and thresher shark too.

Spinner Shark Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Spinner Shark?

Spinner sharks are a species of sharks.

What class of animal does a Spinner Shark belong to?

Spinner Sharks or Carcharhinus brevipinna belong to the class of Chondrichthyes.

How many Spinner Sharks are there in the world?

There has been no specific number of spinner sharks in the world recorded.

Where does a Spinner Shark live?

A Spinner Shark can be found in the western and eastern Atlantic Ocean, which includes places like North Carolina, parts of the Gulf of Mexico, the Bahamas, and Cuba, North Africa, and Namibia. It also inhabits the Indian Ocean that includes parts of Southern Africa and Madagascar. Other locations include the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, India, and some nearby islands. On the Pacific Ocean side, it is known to be found in Japan, Australia, and Vietnam. Certain evidence also suggests that these sharks have passed through the Suez Canal to the Meditteranean Sea.  

What is a Spinner Shark's habitat?

The Spinner Sharks or Carcharhinus brevipinna inhabits the ocean surface to a depth of 330 ft (100 m), it prefers to stay in waters less than 98 ft (30 m) deep and occupies all levels of water columns. This species of sharks can be found in coastal waters, far from the shores, and over continental and insular shelves. Juveniles have been observed and recorded to enter bays but they avoid brackish waters. The migratory populations can be seen in warm coastal or near-shore waters and in the colder season they move towards the south.

Who do Spinner Sharks live with?

These Spinner sharks usually travel in groups to prey on smaller fish.

How long does a Spinner Shark live?

The estimated lifespan is considered to be 15-20 years or more sometimes.

How do they reproduce?

These Spinner sharks are viviparous. Mating happens from early spring to summer. The females have a single functioning ovary and two uteri. Initially, the embryos live off a yolk sac. When the embryo is exhausted, the empty yolk sac develops into a placental connection and this yolk sac placenta helps the mother provide nutrients for the gestation. The gestation period lasts for about 11-15 months. Birth is given to around 3-15 pups and these pups are 60-75 cm at birth. These young are given birth in nursery areas like coastal areas which include bays, beaches, and high-salinity estuaries and are relatively fast-growing. These sharks do not reproduce until they are 12-14 years old.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of these spinner sharks is Near Threatened.

Spinner Shark Fun Facts

What do Spinner Sharks look like?

These are large and slender sharks. Their body is well streamlined and their snout is pointed. The eyes of these sharks are beady and round. The color scheme of these sharks includes gray with bronze luster or shine on the back and white on the underside with some bands on the sides. The corner of the mouth has visible and forward-pointing furrows. Spinner shark teeth have long and narrow cusps and are differently jagged in the upper jaw and comparatively smooth in the lower jaw. There are five pairs of gill slits that are long. The first dorsal fin is small and is slightly behind the pectoral fins and these pectoral fins are short, narrow, and shaped like a sickle. There is no ridge between the first and second dorsal fins. The second dorsal fin, pectoral fin, anal fin, and lower caudal-fin lobe have black tips in adults or larger individuals. Young ones have unmarked fins. The body is covered with diamond-shaped dermal denticles with seven horizontal ridges.

The pointed snout and large size are some of the identifiable features of this species.
*Please note, this is an image of a blacktip shark, a similar species. If you have an image of a spinner shark, let us know!

How cute are they?

Sharks are not generally considered cute, and this species is no exception.

How do they communicate?

In schools, these sharks communicate with each other by visually arching their bodies. These sharks also have the ability to feel vibrations in the water by using a special organ, a lateral line. These vibrations are used to locate or find prey and mates.

How big is a Spinner Shark?

An adult spinner shark size is considered to be large just like some other requiem sharks and can weigh up to 108 lb (49 kg) and can reach a maximum length of around 109.2 in (2.8 m).

How fast can a Spinner Shark move?

These sharks can reach a speed of up to 46 mph (74 kph).

How much does a Spinner Shark weigh?

Spinner sharks can weigh up to 108 lb (49 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for the males and females of this species of the shark

What would you call a baby Spinner Shark?

Baby spinner sharks are called pups.

What do they eat?

The food of spinner sharks generally consists of small bony fishes like the lizardfish, sardines, herring, tunas, tenpounders, sea catfish, mullets, bluefish, mojarras, bonitos, tongue-soles, jacks, anchovies, and croakers. Some other foods include stingrays, octopus, squid, and cuttlefish. These sharks prey in schools and hunt prey at high speeds and these food fishes are swallowed whole.

Are they dangerous?

These sharks are not considered a threat to humans, but they may pose a threat to divers if these sharks are attracted to spearfishing. It has been recorded that the past spinner shark attacks on humans have been non-fatal.

Would they make a good pet?

The Spinner shark or Carcharhinus brevipinna as it is known scientifically does not make a great pet as it is large-sized, it is difficult to keep it in a home aquarium. Also, you will have to keep the environment they live in perfect. As these sharks are carnivores, you will have to spend a lot of money on fish to feed them.

Did you know...

Spinner Sharks are named so because of their habit of leaping out of the water and spinning or rotating up to three times in the air before going back into the water.

These sharks species can leap up to 20 ft in the air.

Off South Africa, it has been recorded that females of this species appear or are found close to the shore all year while the males are only seen in summers.

Parasites of Spinner sharks include Copepods, Kroyeria Deetsi, Nemesis Pilosus, and N. Atlantica which infests the shark gills, Alebion Carchariae, it infests the skin, Nesippus Orientalis, it infests the mouth and gill arches, and Perissopus Dentatus, it infests the nares and rear margins of the fins.

Similar to the blacktip sharks, these sharks also congregate around shrimp trawlers to feed on the discarded bycatch and maybe get incited into feeding frenzies.

Spinner shark fishing is commercially important in the United States shark fisheries operating in the Northwest Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. The meat of this shark is marketed as blacktip shark in the United States.

Why do Spinner Sharks spin?

These sharks are fast-swimming species that often jump out of the water. The reason for their spinning or spiral motion is the way they catch their prey. It climbs quickly within a shoal of fish, and then these sharks snap on all sides while turning.  

Spinner Shark vs Blacktip

While both the gray shark species are often confused with each other because of their appearance, body, and size, they can be distinguished by observing differences between adults of both shark species. The blacktip shark's first dorsal fin has a falcate trailing edge. The anal fin of an adult spinner shark is black-tipped while this black tip on the anal fin is missing in adult blacktip sharks.  

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish including the Caribbean reef shark and Porbeagle shark.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Frilled Shark coloring pages.

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