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The Creek Whaler is a common species of requiem sharkfamily Carcharhinidae. A small number of creek whalers are caught incidentally in inshore gillnets and used for food, but the effect of fishing on its population seems to be inconsequential. As a result, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed this species under Least Concern.

DescriptionEdit

The body of the creek whaler is spindle-shaped and rather stocky. The long snout has a narrowly parabolic shape and large nostrils preceded by small, nipple-shaped flaps of skin. The eyes are circular and of medium size, and are equipped with nictitating membranes. The arched mouth has very short furrows at the corners. There are 30 upper and 28–30 lower tooth rows. The upper teeth are long and triangular with strongly serrated edges, and become increasing angled towards the sides of the jaw. The lower teeth are slender and upright with finely serrated edges. The five pairs of gill slits are short.

The pectoral fins are distinctively large and triangular, with rounded to pointed tips. The large first dorsal fin originates over the rear of the pectoral fin bases. The second dorsal fin is relatively tall and long, and originates over or slightly behind the anal fin origin. There is no ridge between the dorsal fins. The anal fin is larger than the second dorsal fin. There is a crescent-shaped notch on the caudal peduncle just before the origin of the upper caudal fin lobe. The asymmetrical caudal fin has a well-developed lower lobe and a longer upper lobe with a ventral notch near the tip. The skin is densely covered by overlapping dermal denticles, each bearing three to five horizontal ridges leading to marginal teeth. This species is bronze to brownish gray above and pale below, and lacks an obvious lighter band on the flanks. Rarely, individuals may be light bluish gray above. It may reach 1.5 m (4.9 ft) in length, though 1.0–1.3 m (3.3–4.3 ft) is typical.

HabitatEdit

 It is a common species that inhabits estuaries and inshore waters from the intertidal zone to a depth of at least 40 m (130 ft).

FoodEdit

The creek whaler feeds predominantly on small teleost fishes (including threadfin breams and lizardfishes) and crustaceans (including penaeid prawns and mantis shrimps);cephalopods are also infrequently consumed.

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