The fast-swimming blacktip shark is an active fish that can be seen leaping out of the water and spinning before dropping back into the sea (2). This agile spinning behaviour is thought to be used while feeding on small schooling fishes, such as herrings or sardines. The sharks propel themselves vertically, up through the school, spinning and snapping in all directions until they breach the surface (2). As well as feeding on schools of small bony fish, the blacktip shark occasionally preys on squid, cuttlefish, octopi, crabs and lobsters (2). Blacktip sharks often occur in large schools, which with their highly energetic temperament, can result in competitive feeding frenzies when confronted with immense shoals of fish or the waste of a shrimp trawler being dumped overboard (2) (4). Mating in the blacktip shark occurs from May to June, and pregnancy lasts for about one year (5). The viviparous blacktip shark gives birth in shallow, coastal waters, to between one and ten pups in May or June. The young remain in the calm, food-rich nursery area until autumn (2) (5).
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