The nocturnal whitetip reef shark is docile during the day, but can become aggressive when hunting at night. The whitetip reef shark usually hunts alone, thrashing through coral reefs looking for potential prey. It is non-territorial and will occasionally work in cooperation with others in the pursuit of prey. It feeds primarily on octopus, lobster, crab and bony fish.
It inhabits coral reefs of the Indo-Pacific region, typically found at or near the bottom. During the day, it can be observed resting on sandy bottoms, inside caves or under coral ledges. While most sharks need movement to breathe, the whitetip can pump water through its gills while motionless.
At the Gato Island dive site off Malapascua Island in Cebu province, we spotted 8 white-tip sharks: two were swimming inside the tunnel we went through, one was inside another cave, and five were resting on an expanse of sand outside the tunnel. The photos show the very first shark we encountered, which was inside an alcove inside the tunnel. The video shows the second, which was swimming just outside the mouth of the tunnel.