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References:

Blacktip reef shark. (n.d.). Retrieved October 15, 2014, from


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blacktip_reef_shark
Bonnethead shark (Sphyrna tiburo). (n.d.). Retrieved October 15,
2014, from
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sphyrna_tiburo_bost
on.jpg

Bull shark. (n.d.). Retrieved October 15, 2014, from


http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bull_shark
Explore and Discover. (n.d.). Retrieved October 15, 2014, from
http://www.arkive.org/
(n.d.). Retrieved October 15, 2014, from
http://www.aquariumofpacific.org/
Great hammerhead. (n.d.). Retrieved October 15, 2014, from
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_hammerhead

Lemon shark. (n.d.). Retrieved October 15, 2014, from


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemon_shark Nurse Shark.
(n.d.). Retrieved October 15, 2014, from
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nurse_shark_(enhan
ced).jpg

FLORIDA
SHARKS

Tiger shark. (n.d.). Retrieved October 15, 2014, from


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiger_shark

Identification Key

Authors
Kelsey Taylor
Kristen Standifer
Jack Vonderwerth





This identification key is only to be used as an aid
to help identify sharks and should be stated that
sharks are dangerous creatures.
We recommend identifying sharks at a safe
distance.

Hammer Head Shark

WARNING:

Directions
for Use:

The sharks in the key are organized by size from
maximum lengths of 18 feet to 3.5 feet.
Use this key to identify the 7 most common
species of shark that are found near Florida.
Once you are safely distanced from the shark,
take note of any distinguishing features on the
shark.
Use the physical descriptions and pictures to
identify key characteristics.




Physical description:
Length: Up to 18 feet
Color: Dark grey body, light underside
Distinct Features:
o Wide head in a shape of a T
o First dorsal fin is tall with a pointed tip
o Second dorsal fin is also tall with a
concave rear edge

Tiger Shark

Bull Shark

Physical description:
Length: Up to 18 feet
Color: Teal to dark grey, yellowish-white to
white underside
Distinct Features:
o Vertical striped markings (fade with age)
o Broad head and upper body, slender
towards tail

Physical description:

Length: Up to 11 feet
Color: Grey body, light underside
Distinct Features:
o Rounded snout
o A large triangular first dorsal fin
o Relatively small eyes

Lemon Shark

Nurse Shark

Physical description:

Physical description:

Length: Up to 10.5 feet


Color: Pale yellow-brown to grey skin, which
lacks any distinctive markings
Distinct Features: Stocky, powerful shark
o Flattened head with a short, broad snout
o Second dorsal fin is almost as large as
the first

Length: Up to 9 feet
Color: Yellow-brown to grey-brown body
Distinct Features:
o Two spineless, rounded dorsal fins
o Long tail fin
o Large, flexible, muscular and
rounded pectoral fins
o Head is broad and flat, small jaws
o Sensory projections hang from the mouth.

Black Tip Shark

Bonnethead Shark

Physical description:

Physical description:

Length: Up to 6 feet
Color: Grey or grey-brown, white underside,
white stripe runs along the flanks
Distinct Features:
o Fins are edged with black
o Long, pointed snout and small eyes
o Torpedo-shaped body

Length: Up to 3.5 feet


Color: Grey-brown, lighter grey to white on
underside
Distinct Features:
o Shovel or bonnet-shaped head
o Eyes are on side of head
o Pectoral fins are short and straight
o Anal fin is slightly concave with no notch