White Tipped Sharks, Another Galapagos Attraction
White tip reef sharks are very common in the Galapagos Islands cruise tours. We often see them resting in shallow waters or, constantly swimming near the shores. Apparently this behavior is related to courtship displays in which males bite females to show their interest. These “love bites” are commonly found near the females’ neck and head. White tip reef sharks can grow up to 2.10 m (6.88 ft); they are curious, gentle and often approach swimmers quite close. This nocturnal shark feeds primarily on crustaceans, mollusks, small fish, and octopus amongst others.
Sharks have 450 millions years of evolution in which they still conserve ancestral but fascinating characteristics such as the dermal denticles covering their skin as opposed to other fish. Their function is to form a protective barrier and to aid for swimming. The exorbitant number of teeth that they produce and re-grow constantly, suggests that over a few years, a shark may grow tens of thousands of teeth!! This explains the abundance of fossils that have been very helpful in science.
The reproductive success on this viviparous fish, consist in their internal fertilization and the production of litters of 1 to 5 sharks. This 60 cm (1.96 ft) young are born large enough to be independent and to search protection from predators such as other species of sharks.
Because they do not have a swimming bladder like other fish, sharks use their large buoyant liver (it constitutes up to 30% of their body mass) and employ a dynamic lift to maintain depth and sink when they are not moving.
During their Galápagos expeditions on board Metropolitan Touring’s vessels or at the Finch Bay Eco Hotel, guests have the great opportunity to encounter these amazing creatures while swimming, snorkeling, riding the zodiacs or strolling along beaches and crevices.
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