The Hardnose Shark is a species of requiem shark, family Carcharhinidae, so named because of the heavily calcified cartilages in its snout. The hardnose shark is fished for meat throughout its range and, given its low reproductive rate, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed it as Near Threatened.
The hardnose shark is a slim-bodied species with a long, narrow, and pointed snout. Unlike in other Carcharhinus species, its rostral (snout) cartilages are highly calcified, hence the name "hardnose". The circular eyes are rather large and equipped with protective nictitating membranes. There is a narrow lobe of skin on the anterior rim of each nostril. The arched mouth bears inconspicuous furrows at the corners; some sources report that the hyomandibular pores (a series of pores above the corners of the mouth) are enlarged, while others report that they are not. The upper teeth number 29–32 rows and have a narrow, smooth-edged central cusp with very coarse serrations at the base on either side. The lower teeth number 26–29 rows and are narrow and smooth-edged. There are five pairs of fairly short gill slits.
The pectoral fins are fairly short and pointed, with a falcate (sickle-like) shape. The first dorsal fin is medium-sized and triangular, and originates roughly over the pectoral fin free rear tips. The second dorsal fin is small and low, and originates over the middle of the anal fin base. Both dorsal fins have very long free rear tips, and there is a subtle midline ridge between them. A prominent notch is present on the caudal peduncle at the dorsal origin of the caudal fin. The caudal fin has a well-developed lower lobe and a longer upper lobe with a ventral notch near the tip. The skin is covered by overlapping, oval-shaped dermal denticles; each denticle has three horizontal ridges leading to marginal teeth. This species is bronze above and white below, with a barely noticeable pale band on the flanks. The pectoral, pelvic, and anal fins sometimes have lighter margins, while the first dorsal fin and upper caudal fin lobe may have darker margins. The hardnose shark reaches 1.1 m (3.6 ft) in length.
It is usually found in shallow, inshore waters, but has been reported to a depth of 170 m (560 ft). Tagging data has shown that this shark tends not to make long-distance movements, with 30% of re-caught individuals having moved less than 50 km (30 mi) from their initial tagging location. The longest known distance travelled by an individual is 711 km (442 mi).
Bony fishes form the main part of this shark's diet, with cephalopods and crustaceans making up the remainder.