A large amount of fish, bony fish specifically, reproduce by the female producing many eggs, and the male simply getting its sperm near those eggs. A small amount of these eggs will be fertilized, and an even smaller amount will perish before reaching maturity.

         Carcharhinus melanopterus, most commonly known as the Blacktip Reef Shark reproduces viviparously. This means that the young develop within the body. This differs from other sharks that reproduce oviparously, meaning they produce eggs that develop outside the body (Ichthyology 2013). The Blacktip Reef Shark also produces less young than boney fish, sometimes as little as only one pup, but most litters contain 2-4 pups (Icthyology 2013). Mating season for this species of shark is usually between the months November and March (Mourier and Planes 2013). Viviparous sharks pregnancies last approximately three-hundred days with them birthing sometime in-between September and January (Mourier and Planes 2013). Before giving birth to their young, the Blacktip Reef Shark leaves its home to give birth in a specific nursery habitat. These are usually warm shallow areas with an abundant amount of resources for the pups to consume. This is where the curtesy stops between the mother and pups. Though the shark may hover around the newly born pups, she does not nurture them into maturity (Mourier and Planes 2013). A mature Carcharhinus melanopterus range in size from 1 meter to 1.2 meters in locations throughout the Pacific and Indian Ocean (Caselle et al 2009). These sharks benefit in many ways by conceiving their young the way that they do. The pups usually make it to maturity but only a few are birthed by each mother.

         Sharks in general are threatened by overfishing. In fact, some species of sharks have experienced a decline of more than seventy-five percent in the last ten years (Mourier and Planes 2013). Blacktip Reef sharks are successful in that they produce few live young that make it past maturity. These few how ever are at risk to predation by humans which you can further learn about in Interactions with other species.

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