Grey Reef Shark (Wild Safari Sealife by Safari Ltd.)

Review and photos by Suspsy; edited by bmathison1972

As its name suggests, the grey reef shark (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos) make its home around coral reefs throughout the Indo-Pacific, where it preys upon fish, cephalopods, and crustaceans. While not a very large shark, it is highly aggressive and will drive off other sharks from its territory. It has also attacked humans on occasion, although never with fatal results.

The Wild Safari grey reef shark was released in 2018. It is swimming in a straight line with its mouth completely shut and its tail undulating slightly to the left, which gives it a length of just over 15 cm and a flipperspan of just over 6 cm, making the figure about 1:10.5 scale, on average. A pretty good size for a toy of a shark that rarely exceeds two metres long. There’s nothing wrong with its pose, but I think Safari missed an opportunity here. Grey reef sharks are known for making threat displays before they attack an unwary diver who gets too close. Said display involves the shark raising its head, lowering its pectoral fins, arching its back, curving its body laterally, and swimming in an exaggerated manner. I think it would have been really neat if Safari had depicted their grey reef shark engaging in such a threat display.

Nevertheless, this is a very well-sculpted shark toy, one that looks sleek and streamlined, and has a slightly rough texture all over. The lack of claspers shows that this is yet another female individual. There are five gills on each side, the fins appear to have the correct proportions, and the upper lobe of the caudal fin features the little “spike” near the tip. In comparing this toy to photographs of grey reef sharks, however, the eyes appear to be placed a little too far forward.

This shark is airbrushed dark grey on top and white on the bottom, with pale blue eyes ringed by black. There is a small bit of white at the very tip of the first dorsal fin, which is one of the ways to identify a grey reef shark. However, this toy is missing a black margin along its entire caudal fin, and black tips on its second dorsal fin, anal fin, and on the undersides of its pectoral fins and pelvic fins.

Despite the issues with its eyes and paint applications, I think this is quite a good grey reef shark toy on the whole. It can easily be found for sale online, and is probably available in many museum and aquarium gift shops.

Comments 1

  • I have this species in my Synoptic Collection. Interestingly, my figure as no (or a very minute dab of) white on the pectoral and anterior dorsal fin. However, mine has darker black airbrushing on the underside of the pectoral fins, as the species should have.

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