whitetip reef shark


variants or less commonly white-tip reef shark
plural whitetip reef sharks also white-tip reef sharks
: a slender-bodied, nocturnal requiem shark (Triaenodon obesus) chiefly of tropical seas that has dorsal and tail fins tipped with white, that may reach a length of seven feet (2.1 meters) but is usually shorter, that tends to be found near coral reefs, and that typically rests on the sea bottom or in underwater caves
Most sharks have to keep moving to breathe, but the nocturnal whitetip reef shark can pump water over its gills and rest for hours during the day.Cheryl Chee Tsutsumi
Occasionally a white-tip reef shark would glide by, and when I found one resting on the sand, I was able to settle almost alongside it.Cameron Wilson

called also whitetip shark

compare oceanic whitetip shark

Word History

First Known Use

1973, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of whitetip reef shark was in 1973

Dictionary Entries Near whitetip reef shark

Cite this Entry

“Whitetip reef shark.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whitetip%20reef%20shark. Accessed 27 May. 2024.

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