Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays) > Carcharhiniformes
(Ground sharks) > Carcharhinidae
Etymology: Carcharhinus: karcharos (Gr.), sharp or jagged; rhinus, an ancient name for sharks, from rhine (Gr.), rasp, both words alluding to a shark's jagged, rasp-like skin. (See ETYFish); obsoletus: Latin for extinct, referring to fact that it has not been recorded since 1934 [originally spelled obsolerus, a misspelling based on incorrect optical character recognition results at several online English-Latin translation sites]. (See ETYFish).
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; demersal. Tropical
Western Pacific: collection records Gulf of Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia (Borneo). Distribution is actually uncertain, with Baram in Sarawak (Malaysia) likely an accurate collection locality.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 43.3 cm TL (female)
Morphology | Morphometrics
Vertebrae: 117 - 120. This small species is characterized by the following characters: a slender body and tail; no interdorsal ridge; in dorsal view head parabolic and is relatively wide, interorbital space 11.2-12.0% TL; eyes relatively large, its length 2.4-2.9% TL, 10.0-15.1 times in head length; row of enlarged hyomandibular pores alongside each mouth corner absent; upper anterior teeth broadly triangular and serrated, with large and coarse (non-lobate) serrations basally; lower anterior teeth with narrower, mostly straight cusps; the cusps of upper and lower anterolateral teeth with apical margin slightly recurved; lateral cusplets absent; total tooth row counts 27-31/26-29; posterior edge of mandibular plate with an elongate and crescentic indentation; second dorsal-fin origin well posterior of anal-fin origin, about opposite anal-fin midbase, while second dorsal-fin origin to anal-fin origin 1.3-2.5% TL, 0.3-0.6 times second dorsal-fin base; first dorsal-fin triangular, non-falcate, origin about opposite first third of pectoral-fin inner margin length, free rear tip just anterior to pelvic-fin origins, length 1.7-1.9 times height, inner margin 1.9-2.5 in base; second dorsal fin is much smaller than first, slightly smaller than anal fin, base 1.4-2.0 times height, height 22-31% of first dorsal-fin height; anal fin height 1.2-1.5 times second dorsal height, base 1.1-1.2 times second dorsal-fin base; total vertebral counts 117-120, monospondylous precaudal 36-40, diplospondylous precaudal 18-19, diplospondylous caudal 56-66, precaudal 54-58; absence of distinct black markings on fins (Ref. 119369).
Maximum length (43.3 cm TL) is that of a juvenile female; size at birth likely close to 34.0 cm TL, since late-term embryo was fully developed and a 37.0 cm TL juvenile had a faint umbilical sca (Ref. 119369).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
White, W.T., P.M. Kyne and M. Harris, 2019. Lost before found: A new species of whaler shark Carcharhinus obsolerus from the Western Central Pacific known only from historic records. PLoS ONE 14(1):e0209387. (Ref. 119369)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 126983)
Threat to humans
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82804
= No PD50 data [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00389 (0.00180 - 0.00842), b=3.12 (2.94 - 3.30), in cm total length, based on all LWR estimates for this BS (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.8 ±0.5 se; based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (Few large pups (RF)).
Fishing Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (33 of 100).