Pondicherry shark

Species of shark / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Pondicherry shark (Carcharhinus hemiodon) is an extremely rare species of requiem shark, in the family Carcharhinidae. A small and stocky gray shark, it grows not much longer than 1 m (3.3 ft) and has a fairly long, pointed snout. This species can be identified by the shape of its upper teeth, which are strongly serrated near the base and smooth-edged near the tip, and by its first dorsal fin, which is large with a long free rear tip. Furthermore, this shark has prominent black tips on its pectoral fins, second dorsal fin, and caudal fin lower lobe.

Quick facts: Pondicherry shark, Conservation status, Scien...
Pondicherry shark
Scientific classification Red_Pencil_Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Order: Carcharhiniformes
Family: Carcharhinidae
Genus: Carcharhinus
C. hemiodon
Binomial name
Carcharhinus hemiodon
Range of the Pondicherry shark[1]

Carcharias hemiodon J. P. Müller & Henle (ex Valenciennes), 1839
Carcharias watu Setna & Sarangdhar, 1946
Hypoprion atripinnis Chu, 1960


The Pondicherry shark is critically endangered. It was once found throughout Indo-Pacific coastal waters from the Gulf of Oman to New Guinea, and is known to enter fresh water. Fewer than 20 specimens are available for study, and most aspects of its natural history are unknown. It probably feeds on bony fishes, cephalopods, and crustaceans, and gives birth to live young with the embryos forming a placental connection to their mother. While the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed the Pondicherry shark as Critically endangered, it had been thought to be extinct since the 1970s. It continues to be found in markets, most recently in 2019 at a local fishing village in southern Sri Lanka after the continuous efforts made by the famous biologist and conservationist Forrest Galante, and his wife, zoologist Jessica Summerfield, in a special episode 'The Lost Shark' of the Discovery channel program 'Extinct or Alive' Newsweek.[2] The specimen found will be displayed in the museum of Sri Lanka[when?] to raise awareness of the critically endangered species. It is probably threatened by intense and escalating fishing pressure throughout its range. The shark is among the 25 "most wanted lost" species that are the focus of Global Wildlife Conservation's "Search for Lost Species" initiative.[3] The Pondicherry has been spotted in rivers in India in the late 2010s.[4] A Pondicherry shark was caught in the Menik Ganga (river) in SE Sri Lanka in 2011. It was photographed and released alive. An illustration of the shark appears on page 298 of 'Sri Lankan Freshwater Fishes'.[5]