Identity card

LATIN NAME : Carcharhinus plumbeus

FAMILY: Carcharhinidae

PHYLUM: Chordata

CLASS: Chondrichthyes

The sandbar shark lives in tropical and temperate waters. This predator is continuously on the move.

It is found on the sea bed and in open water to depths of up to 320 metres. It is fond of sandy or coral beds and estuaries.

The sandbar shark hunts at night and lives off bottom-dwelling fish, rays, crustaceans and cephalopods.

A male can grow up to 2 metres in length on average and a record weight of almost 118 kg.

  • Distribution :

    It is found mainly in the warm waters of subtropical and temperate regions of the Atlantic and Indo-Pacific oceans, in the Red Sea and in the Mediterranean.
  • IUCN Status :


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Find out more about the Sandbar shark
Biomimetics: the shark has inspired the creation of some innovative technologies. Its skin has been used as a model for creating antibacterial, hydro/aerodynamic and antifouling clothing; its fins have helped to improve the stability of airplanes thanks to “sharklets” and the shape of its tail has served as inspiration for tidal steam generators.

Sandbar sharks make seasonal migrations. They also segregate themselves by sex and by age, especially when they are grouped together in schools during these migrations.

They need to swim constantly to have enough oxygen.

The sandbar shark is the most widely consumed sharks in the world, both for its fins and meat, and for its skin and oil. It is also used in Chinese medicine.

In October 2008, with the help of a vet specialising in sharks, NAUSICAA achieved a world first – a surgical operation on one of its sandbar sharks.

The sandbar shark is viviparous, giving birth to live young. Breeding takes place in spring and summer. The young are more than 55 cm long at birth. Litters can contain between 1 and 16 pups.




Crédits photo du bandeau : © D. Mallevoy
Crédits photo de la galerie : © P.Bincteux / © J. Leroy

Activities AT NAUSICAA


Every day, there are events focused on Nausicaa’s main species. With training and feeding sessions and talks on life in Europe’s largest aquarium, your visit will be a rich and entertaining experience!
Learn about the life of fishes, hear some surprising stories and enjoy the antics of some amazing animals.

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