Species encyclopedia

Grey Reef Shark

Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos


The grey reef shark stands apart from the grey sandbar shark (Carcharhinus plumbeus) for its black-tipped pectoral, ventral and caudal fins.

Its silhouette is massive and powerful. It tends to frequent the outer slopes, passes and areas surrounding coral reefs, and sometimes lagoons.

Its schools can number several hundred individual sharks by day, although grey reef sharks tend to scatter at night to hunt.

Food and travel

They feed primarily on reef fish but also on cephalopods and crustaceans (spiny lobsters and crabs).

Grey reef sharks must always be in motion so that water passes through their gills allowing them to take in the oxygen required for their metabolism. In areas with strong currents, a gentle swim allows them to ‘oxygenate’ without too much effort.


After mating, the viviparous (live-bearing) females give birth to one to six offspring (about 50 cm long) after a 12 month period of gestation.

This species is vulnerable due to its low reproductive capacity and was added to the UICN’s Red List in 2000.

The grey reef shark can pose a real threat in the presence of food stimuli like shark feeding and underwater fishing.

When it feels in danger, it swims with a posture of intimidation that is typical of its species: arched back, pectoral fins down and teeth bared, advancing in jerky movements. This behaviour is often a precursor to an attack.



Species encyclopedia

For a better experience of our website, we invite you to increase the size of your navigator window.