Bignose shark
  • Carcharhinus altimus
  • English Name : Bignose shark
  • Local Name : Mendhan miyaru
  • Size : Max. 3 m
  • Family : CARCHARHINIDAE
  • Order : Carcharhiniformes
  • Distinctive Characters: A large, fairly slender shark. Snout moderately long and bluntly pointed to rounded. Upper teeth serrated, broadly triangular and erect in front of mouth. Lower teeth narrow and finely serrated. A distinct skin ridge between dorsal fins. First dorsal fin moderately large and falcate, with origin over inner margins of pectoral fins. Pectoral fins long and not strongly falcate.
  • Colour: Grey, white below. Fin tips dusky (except pelvic). White markings on flank inconspicuous.
  • Habitat and Biology: A common offshore, bottom dwelling shark usually found in deeper water near the edge of the continental and insular shelves in depths between 90 to 430 m. Feeds mainly on fishes, other sharks, sting rays and cuttle fish. Viviparous, number of young per litter 3 to 15.
  • Distribution: Circumtropical.
  • Remarks: Carcharhinus altimus is considered to be a bottom dwelling shark and in Maldives it is mainly caught on pelagic longlines. Interestingly, it seems to be caught only at night (‘mendhan’ means midnight) over areas such as “Ali huras kandu” where water depths are within its range, suggesting that this species is a diurnal vertical migrator.