(Carcharhinus melanopterus)

The name 'blacktip reef shark' comes from its black-coloured dorsal fin tip. With a length of up to two metres, it belongs to the group of medium-sized sharks and impressively does its rounds around the shark tank of Aquarium Berlin with, among others, Caribbean nurse sharks (Ginglymostoma cirratum).


Indian Ocean, Indo-Pacific

Shallow water, along the reefs

Fish and invertebrates


Up to 1,80 m

Up to 20 kg

Brooding/gestation time
Viviparous after a gestation period of approx. 9 months

Achievable age
Over 30 years

What you should know about blacktip reef sharks
The blacktip reef shark has its home in the Indian Ocean and is predominantly spread along the South African coast to the Red Sea as well as along the Indian coast. There they generally feed on fish and invertebrates, but also small species of rays or sharks cannot claim full safety from them.

The daydreamer in the shark tank
Those who believe that sharks roam restlessly during the day in search of food are mistaken. The wisdom of 'carpe diem' is used especially by the tropical nurse sharks, who live in groups, when it comes to sleeping. During the day they are happy to rest in caves or under ledges or even just sleep how we would understand to be 'normal'.

Agile hooked club & the shock of the keepers

The blacktip reef shark is considered extremely agile. The visitors to Aquarium Berlin can also observe its sudden turning maneuvers. It is not uncommon for our submerged keepers to be startled when cleaning the panes. It's no wonder, the sharks approach them at speeds of up to 30 km/h and only turn in another direction right before collision – enough to make anyone wince.

Is it true that ...?

... Shark teeth regrow on a life-long basis? Practical or what? Shark teeth are not firmly anchored in the jaw, but only loosely attached to the softer jaw cartilage. Mother Nature therefore equipped all shark species with a set of teeth, which constantly 'reload' – a so-called set of revolver teeth. As a result, they don't just have one row of teeth, but many in succession. If a shark tooth falls out or breaks off, it is succeeded by a new tooth from the jaw and within a few weeks, the gap is filled again.

We also have these sharks in the Aquarium Berlin

• California bullhead shark (Heterodontus francisci)
• Spotted wobbegong (Orectolobus maculatus)
• Epaulette shark (Hemiscyllium ocellatum)
• Small-spotted catshark (Scyliorhinus canicula)
• Large-spotted dogfish (Scyliorhinus stellaris)
• Caribbean nurse shark (Ginglymostoma cirratum)
• Bonnethead sharks (Sphyrna tiburo)

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Feeding times

Blacktip reef sharks: Monday and Thursday at 2.30 p.m.

Bonnethead sharks: Monday and Thursday at 2 p.m.

all feeding times