Description of the Galapagos shark

The Galapagos shark (Carcharhinus galapagensis) is a species of shark in the requiem shark family (Carcharhinidae) that is endemic to the Galapagos Islands. Galapagos sharks are medium to large in size, measuring up to 12 feet long and weighing up to 900 pounds. Females are slightly larger than males. Their body is streamlined and robust, with a large and rounded head. They have five gill slits located on the sides of their head and a large horseshoe-shaped mouth. Their color varies from dark gray to dark brown with white markings on their belly. The dorsal fins are large and slightly set back on their body. The Galapagos shark is a carnivorous predator that feeds mainly on bony fish, squid, rays and other sharks. They are usually solitary, but can form groups of a few individuals. They are also known to be curious towards divers, but they are generally not aggressive towards humans. Galapagos sharks are considered a vulnerable species due to overfishing, habitat loss and ocean pollution. They are protected by the Galapagos National Park and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

When to see them?

Galapagos sharks can be seen all year round in the waters surrounding the Galapagos Islands. However, their presence can vary according to the seasons and environmental conditions. They are most frequently observed from December to May.

Where to observe them?

There are several diving and snorkeling sites around the Galapagos Islands where you can observe Galapagos sharks. Some of the most popular dive sites to view Galapagos sharks are Gordon Rocks, Shark Point and North Seymour.

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