Types Of Sharks: Shark Species List With Pictures & Facts

Types Of Sharks

There are eight orders of sharks, each with 537 species. Requiem sharks such as the tiger shark and blue shark, mackerel sharks such as the great white shark and shortfin mako shark, and carpet sharks such as the whale shark are among the most well-known types of sharks.

About Sharks

Cartilaginous fish are a group of fish that includes sharks. Shark skeletons are created of cartilage, a strong but flexible natural substance, rather than bone, as the name implies. Cartilaginous fish such as rays and skates have similar structures.

Shark Diversity

For many shark species, particularly the great white shark and great hammerhead, their fearsome reputation is well-deserved.

These fish are streamlined, swift, and equipped with a sixth sense called electroreceptors that let them detect electrical charges generated by the muscles of their prey. They are superb ocean hunters.

Most sharks, on the other hand, are not apex predators. In terms of looks, behavior, diet, and lifestyle, the 500 or so different kinds of sharks are incredibly diverse.

The whale shark and basking shark, for example, are two of the largest sharks that do not actively hunt prey. Instead, these filter feeders swim with their mouths open wide, filtering little plankton from the water with each mouthful.

Endangered Sharks

Several kinds of sharks are endangered, despite their mastery of their habitat.

Some shark species are extensively fished, while others are taken as bycatch (i.e. They’re caught in nets or hooks meant for other animals by accident.

The conservation status of each species is included in the table below.

List Of Different Shark Species

Basking Shark

  • Scientific name: Cetorhinus Maximus
  • Type of shark: mackerel shark
  • Order: Lamniformes
  • Conservation status: Endangered

The second-largest shark and the second-largest fish (the largest being the whale shark), the basking shark, is both. The average length of a basking shark is around 26 feet (8 meters), with some specimens growing to up to 11 meters (36 feet).

The basking shark, unlike most sharks, is a passive eater. Rather, it’s a filter feeder that swims slowly with its mouth wide open in the water. With teeth-like projections on its gill arches, it separates food from the seawater.

Every hour, the species can filter food equivalent to an Olympic swimming pool from seawater.

In temperate and tropical waters around the world, the basking shark may be found in coastal and open water.

The species’ population has decreased in many places due to the fact that it was once hunted for its meat and skin.

Basking sharks are now considered a endangered species. The species’ population continues to decline, despite being protected from hunting in many areas.

Bigeye Thresher Shark

  • Scientific name: Alopias superciliosus
  • Type of shark: thresher shark
  • Order: Lamniformes
  • Conservation status: Vulnerable

In tropical and temperate waters around the world, the bigeye thresher shark is a large mackerel shark. Coastal waters are its most common habitat, although it can also be found in the open sea.

The pelagic thresher and common thresher are the other two types of thresher sharks. The bigeye thresher shark is one of them.

The distinctivetails of thresher sharks, which have highly extended upper lobes, may be used to identify them. The extended tail fin accounts for nearly half of the bigeye thresher shark’s length (approximately 12 feet / 3.6 meters).

The pectoral fins of thresher sharks are likewise long.

The large eyes of the bigeye thresher shark are a distinguishing feature, as is their name.

Ovoviviparous thresher sharks exist. Embryos emerge from eggs inside their mother’s body and continue to develop before being born as live pups in this method of reproduction.

Blacktip Reef Shark

  • Scientific name: Carcharhinus melanopterus
  • Type of shark: requiem shark
  • Order: Carcharhiniformes
  • Conservation status: Vulnerable

The blacktip reef shark is a requiem shark that may be found in the Indo-Pacific (a region that stretches from the Indian Ocean to the central Pacific Ocean) and is named for its distinctive black fin tips. It has a blunt snout and is gray-brown in color. It grows to be around 1.6 meters (5.25 feet) in length. It’s a very long river.

One of the most frequently found sharks in coral reef environments is the blacktip reef shark, which lives in shallow coastal seas and coral reefs.

The species preys on tiny fish such as mullet, groupers, and wrasses, as well as invertebrates like cuttlefish, squid, octopuses, and shrimps. It is an apex predator (top of the food chain with no predators of its own).

The blacktip reef shark is not to be confused with the blacktip shark, Carcharhinus limbatus.

Blue Shark

  • Scientific name: Prionace glauca
  • Type of shark: requiem shark
  • Order: Carcharhiniformes
  • Conservation status: Near Threatened

The blue shark belongs to the Carcharhinidae family of requiem sharks, which may be found in temperate and tropical seas all over the globe. This huge shark grows to a maximum length of 2.5 m (8.2 ft) and has been known to reach 3.8 m (12 ft).

The blue shark boasts a large range and is also migratory, traveling to different regions in search of food and suitable breeding habitats. It is one of the most widely distributed species of sharks.

The male blue shark bites the female during the courting ritual. As a consequence, the female’s skin is twice as thick as that of the male.

Bull Shark

  • Scientific name: Carcharhinus leucas
  • Type of shark: requiem shark
  • Order: Carcharhiniformes
  • Conservation status: Vulnerable

The requiem shark family, Carcharhinidae, includes the bull shark. It may be found in tropical and mild temperate oceans all around the world’s coasts.

Bull sharks are robust sharks that have a heavy build. It has an average length of 2.32 meters (7.61 feet) and has been recorded at lengths of 3.5 meters (11.48 feet).

The bull shark, unlike most sharks, can swim in fresh water and has been discovered in the Amazon, Mississippi, Ganges, and Zambezi rivers.

The bull shark is frequently found near humans since it lives in coastal seas and freshwater systems. This may explain why the species is infamous for having the third-highest number of shark attacks on humans.

Frilled Shark

  • Scientific name: Chlamydoselachus anguineus
  • Order Hexanchiformes
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

With a long, eel-like body and distinctively “frilled” gill slits (from which the species gets its name), the frilled shark is an unusual-looking shark. Because to its primitive characteristics, it is considered a “living fossil” and species like the frilled shark swam in the seas millions of years before the dinosaurs.

The dark-brown frilled shark grows to a length of 2.0 meters / 6.6 feet. It is a long book, measuring in at around 250 pages. The Atlantic and Pacific Oceans have a patchy distribution.

Goblin Shark

  • Scientific name: Mitsukurina owstoni
  • Type of shark: Mackerel shark
  • Order: Lamniformes
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

The goblin shark is a seldom-seen deep-sea species of mackerel shark that is one of the world’s strangest types of shark.

The nose and jaws of this odd-looking fish can protrude out of its mouth, giving it a birdlike appearance. The shark’s pink color is due to blood vessels near the surface.

The majority of goblin sharks are around 13 feet long, although there are reports of up to 20 feet in length.

The Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans are all home to the goblin shark.

The lifestyle of this intriguing fish is poorly understood.

Great Hammerhead Shark

  • Scientific name: Sphyrna mokarran
  • Type of shark: hammerhead shark
  • Order: Carcharhiniformes
  • Conservation status: Critically Endangered

The Sphyrnidae family of hammerhead sharks includes the great hammerhead shark. Although typically measuring around 13.3 feet / 4.05 meters in length, exceptionally huge specimens have been measured at 19.68 feet / 6 meters in length.

The almost straight front edge of the great hammerhead shark’s head and the huge size and sickle form of its dorsal fin distinguish it from other hammerhead sharks.

The term “cephalofoil” refers to the hammerhead shark’s hammer-shaped head. The shark can see above and below it thanks to the cephalofoil, which improves its field of vision. The electroreceptors of the shark may be better able to detect prey if the cephalofoil provides a large area for them.

In tropical seas all around the globe, the great hammerhead shark may be found near the shore. Corals reefs are a common habitat for this species.

Commercial fisheries pursue the species, and its fins are highly valued as an ingredient in shark-fin soup. As a consequence, the species’ population is rapidly dwindling, and it is now considered to be extinct.

Great White Shark

  • Scientific name: Carcharodon carcharias
  • Type of shark: mackerel shark
  • Order: Lamniformes
  • Conservation status: Vulnerable

Because of its prominent role in the novel (and film) “Jaws,” the great white shark is one of the most well-known shark species.

The great white shark is responsible for more attacks on humans than any other shark, and its fearsome reputation is perhaps well-deserved. Nonetheless, great white shark attacks on humans are extremely uncommon (we’re too bony!) and the species does not target them.

Great white sharks have a typical length of around 14 feet (4.27 meters) for both sexes. Those over 6 meters (19.68 feet) in length are exceptional, however they are unusual.

In temperate and warm seas around the world, great white sharks may be found. They are often found near the coast, although they may travel across vast distances and in the open ocean.

Greenland shark

  • Scientific name: Somniosus microcephalus
  • Type of shark: sleeper shark
  • Order: Squaliformes
  • Conservation status: Vulnerable

With specimens growing to be 23 feet / 7 meters long, the Greenland shark is one of the world’s most massive sharks. The majority of them are smaller, seldom exceeding 16.4 feet / 5 meters.

Greenland sharks, which have a lifespan of between 250 and 500 years, are the only vertebrates that live as long as they do.

The Somniosidae family of sharks includes the Greenland shark.

The sleepy nature and mild aggressiveness of sleeper sharks earned them their name. The Greenland shark swims at a slow pace of less than 1 mph/1.61 km/h, and (for its size) beats its tail less frequently than any other fish.

The Greenland shark feeds on a wide range of fish and other creatures, including squid and seals, in the frigid waters of the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. This sluggish attacker is assumed to assault its victims or choose sleeping victims.

Lemon Shark

  • Scientific name: Negaprion brevirostris
  • Type of shark: requiem shark
  • Order: Carcharhiniformes
  • Conservation status: Vulnerable

The color of the lemon shark is what gives it its name. The species may be found on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of North and South America, as well as the Atlantic coast of Africa, in coastal areas in tropical locations.

Lemon sharks grow to be around 9 feet long (2.75 meters) on average, with the largest individual measuring 11.3 feet (3.43 meters). Attacks by the lemon shark on humans are extremely uncommon, despite its large size.

Coral reefs, estuaries, and mangroves are all common habitats for lemon sharks. In the shallow waters where it lives, the species’ yellow coloration is thought to be a form of camouflage against the sandy.

Some commercial fisheries and recreational anglers are both interested in the lemon shark. This has contributed to the species’ endangered status, along with a decrease in mangrove habitats.

Leopard Shark

  • Scientific name: Triakis semifasciata
  • Type of shark: houndshark
  • Order: Carcharhiniformes
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

The houndshark family, Triakidae, contains around 40 species of leopard shark. From Washington state to the Baja California Peninsula, this little (average length around 4.43 ft. / 1.35 m) shark may be found along North America’s Pacific coast.

The leopard shark, which lives in shallow water and is frequently seen swarming in large shoals in bays and estuaries, is one of the most common shark species in its range.

The species’ skin markings, which look like leopard coat markings, inspired the name of the species.

Nurse Shark

  • Scientific name: Ginglymostoma cirratum
  • Type of shark: carpet shark
  • Order: Orectolobiformes
  • Conservation status: Vulnerable

The nurse shark family Ginglymostomatidae contains four species, the largest of which is the nurse shark. It’s roughly 10 feet long and grey-brown in color.

The nurse shark has barbels, as do many other carpet sharks. Above the mouth, these sensory appendages are positioned near the Nostrils.

The nurse shark is a sluggish swimmer that spends the majority of its time on the sea bed sleeping. It does not need to swim in order to breathe, unlike some shark species.

The nurse shark, which is responsible for the fourth-largest number of recorded shark attacks on humans, will bite if approached despite its sluggish appearance.

Porbeagle

  • Scientific name: Lamna nasus
  • Type of shark: mackerel shark
  • Order: Lamniformes
  • Conservation status: Vulnerable

Together with the shortfin mako, longfin mako, lemon shark, and great white shark, the porbeagle is part of the Lamnidae family of mackerel sharks.

Endothermic (warm-blooded) sharks belong to the Lamnidae family. As a result, their body temperature is greater than that of the environment. Swimming speed and endurance while hunting in deep water, as well as the ability to hunt in colder waters than their competitors, are thought to give them an advantage.

In both the northern and southern hemispheres, the porbeagle may be found in temperate and cold seas; it is not found in tropical seas, unlike many other sharks. It is most commonly found on fishing banks, which are sections of relatively shallow ocean bordered by deeper water. It inhabits both coastal seas and open oceans.

The porbeagle, a big and quick swimmer, measures 8.2 feet / 2.5 meters in length. It has a massive, sickle-shaped tail fin that matches that of a mackerel, another swift-swimming fish, as do other speedy sharks.

Port Jackson Shark

  • Scientific name: Heterodontus portusjacksoni
  • Type of shark: bullhead shark
  • Order: Heterodontiformes
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

The Port Jackson shark is a bullhead shark species found in coastal waters off Australia (also found off New Zealand). It’s a bottom-feeder that is most active at night.

Like other bullsharks, the Port Jackson shark has a blunt snout with eye ridges. It reaches a height of 1.65 meters (5.41 feet) when fully grown.

Bullhead sharks, unlike many other species, lay eggs rather than producing live offspring. In big, spiral-shaped egg casings, their eggs are secure.

Sand Devil

  • Scientific name: Squatina dumeril
  • Type of shark: Angel shark
  • Order: Squatiniformes
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

In the western Atlantic Ocean, the sand devil is a type of angel shark.

The Squatinidae family of sharks includes angel sharks. They spend the majority of their time on the sea bed and have flat, ray-like bodies.

The sand devil is a species of angel shark that lives along the Atlantic coast of North America, from New England to Mexico (it has also been recorded on the northern edge of South America).

The sand devil is a dark brown-grey in color and measures 4.5 feet (1.37 meters) in length.

The sand devil, like other angel sharks, is a burying ambush hunter that hides in sand or mud until it finds suitable prey to pass over. If irritated, it will assault humans, with its razor-sharp teeth inflicting serious wounds.

Sand Tiger Shark

  • Scientific name: Carcharias taurus
  • Type of shark: sand shark
  • Order: Lamniformes
  • Conservation status: Critically Endangered

In subtropical and temperate waters around the world, the sand tiger shark may be found. It eats mostly fish (including other sharks) while hunting them in the seabed.

The pointed, conical snout of this species may be used to identify it. Its thin, pointed teeth are always visible while it swims with its mouth open.

While the species may grow to lengths of over 10.5 ft / 3.2 m, a sand tiger shark has a typical length of 8.5 ft / 2.6 m.

The sand tiger shark is a large fish with a toothy appearance, but it seldom attacks humans.

Live young are born to the sand tiger shark. The dominant sibling will eat the other embryos in the uterus before they are born, a phenomenon known as “intrauterine cannibalism.” Only two young are born per pregnancy since a female sand tiger shark has two uteri.

The Odontaspididae family of sand sharks includes the sand tiger shark. The Lamniformes order, of which mackerel sharks are members, includes three species in this small family.

Overfishing is the primary reason for the Critically Endangered status of the sand tiger shark. Commercial fisheries in several areas of the globe still capture and target this species as bycatch today.

Shortfin Mako Shark

  • Scientific name: Isurus oxyrinchus
  • Type of shark: Mackerel shark
  • Order: Lamniformes
  • Conservation status: Endangered

One of two mako shark species (the other being the much less common longfin mako shark), the shortfin mako shark is one of them. The great white shark is also a member of the Lamnidae family, which includes both these species.

The mako shark, which grows to be 3.2 meters (10.5 feet) long, It is a long film, in feet and inches. With a crescent-shaped tail, it has a cylindrical, streamlined body. In comparison to the longfin mako, its pectoral (side) fins are shorter.

Mako sharks have the ability to reach speeds of up to 19 mph / 32 km/h, making them one of the fastest-swimming sharks.

The blood temperature of both mako shark species (along with other Lamnidae family members) is able to rise above the water in which they swim. The fact that they are warm-blooded is thought to give them an advantage over their chilly-blooded prey when it comes to swimming.

Overfishing has led to the endangerment of the shortfin mako. Commercial fisheries are aimed at and capture the species as bycatch.

The mako is much sought-after by sport fishermen because of its fast speed. Sadly, approximately one in every ten shortfin mako sharks dies after being caught and released.

Silky Shark

  • Scientific name: Carcharhinus falciformis
  • Type of shark: requiem shark
  • Order: Carcharhiniformes
  • Conservation status: Vulnerable

The requiem shark family, Carcharhinidae, includes the silky shark. In tropical seas throughout the world, it is common to find it far from land, but also near shore. It’s one of three open-ocean shark species that are most commonly seen (the others being the blue shark and oceanic whitetip shark).

With a streamlined body and a tiny front dorsal fin and small rear dorsal fin, the silky shark is named for its smooth skin. It’s around 8.2 feet long and 2.5 meters tall. It is a long chain.

Small-Spotted Catshark

  • Scientific name: Scyliorhinus canicula
  • Type of shark: catshark
  • Order: Carcharhiniformes
  • Conservation status: Least Concern

The catshark family Scyliorhinidae, which belongs to the larger shark group Carcharhiniformes (also known as ground sharks), includes the little-spotted catsharks.

This little shark is one of the most prevalent shark species in coastal seas around Europe and northern Africa. It can reach a height of 1 m (3.28 ft) if planted thickly. It is grey-brown in hue with light undersides and measures in length. It lays eggs called “mermaid’s purses” that it uses to reproduce.

The little-spotted catshark has catlike eyes with an elongated snout that gives it the appearance of a live cat.

Catsharks (e.g., the dogfish Scyliorhinus rotifer) are sometimes referred to as dogfish, which is a little confusing.

Spiny Dogfish

  • Scientific name: Squalus acanthias
  • Type of shark: dogfish
  • Order: Squaliformes
  • Conservation status: Vulnerable

The Squalidae family of sharks, which belongs to the order Squaliformes, includes the spiny dogfish. Each of the dogfish’s two dorsal fins has spines, much like those of other dogs.

The average length of the species is 1.09 m / 3.58 feet and it is gray-brown in color. Female sharks are larger than male sharks, as is the case with most.

Continental shelves and slopes (areas of shallow water surrounding land, and areas that descend to deeper waters) are home to the spiny dogfish. The species is hunted for food primarily in Europe and can be found in many parts of the world.

The species, known as “huss” or “rock salmon,” is one of the types that is traditionally offered in fish and chip shops in England.

After migrating 5,000 miles (8,000 kilometers) from the United States, one spiny dogfish was tagged and found in Japan.

In comparison to the majority of other sharks (which are typically long-lived animals), the spiny dogfish lives even longer. It may live up to 100 years in captivity.

Tiger Shark

  • Scientific name: Galeocerdo cuvier
  • Type of shark: requiem shark
  • Order: Carcharhiniformes
  • Conservation status: Near Threatened

In tropical and temperate waters all around the globe, the tiger shark is a huge requiem shark. Shelves and reefs are common habitats for this species.

The stripes on the body of the tiger shark are reminiscent of a tiger’s. As the shark matures, these disappear.

The tiger shark is responsible for the greatest number of human fatalities from shark attacks, after the great white shark.

At a maximum length of 5 m/16.4 feet, this streamlined ocean predator is typically 3.75 m/12.3 m in length.

In many parts of the globe, commercial fisheries target and catch tiger sharks as bycatch. Its population is dwindling, and its conservation status has been designated as Near Threatened.

Whale Shark

  • Scientific name: Rhincodon typus
  • Type of shark: carpet shark
  • Order: Orectolobiformes
  • Conservation status: Endangered

Whale sharks are also the world’s biggest fish and the biggest shark in existence. With some individuals growing to lengths of 18 m / 59 ft, this ocean giant can reach a maximum length of around 12 m / 40 ft.

(Cetaceans are animals such as whales, dolphins, and porpoises) The whale shark is the biggest non-cetacean animal.

Unlike most sharks, the whale shark is a filter feeder that feeds on plankton. Its name comes from its resemblance to whales, both in size and behavior.

In most parts of the globe, although not in the Mediterranean, the whale shark may be found in tropical and warm seas. The whale shark is still hunted in China and other nations, despite its vulnerable status and declining numbers.

Whitetip Reef Shark

  • Scientific name: Triaenodon obesus
  • Type of shark: requiem shark
  • Order: Carcharhiniformes
  • Conservation status: Vulnerable

The white tips of the dorsal and tail fins of the whitetip reef shark are named after it. The Requiem Shark is a little shark that grows to be about 5.3 feet / 1.6 meters in length.

The whitetip reef shark lives on coral reefs and is found across shelves and around islands, as its name suggests. It favors water that is very clean.

The Indo-Pacific (which spans from the Indian Ocean to the central Pacific Ocean) is home to this species.

The oceanic whitetip shark (Carcharhinus longimanus), a requiem shark species that is most often seen in the open ocean, should not be confused with this species.

During the day, the whitetip reef shark rests in caves or on the sea bed, where it is nocturnal. Whitetip sharks are frequently seen lying parallel to one another or even on top of one another when they rest in groups.

The species feeds on fish, octopuses, and crustaceans during the night while hunting on the sea bed.

The whitetip reef shark, unlike other requiem sharks, does not need to keep swimming in order to breathe.

The oceanic whitetip shark (Carcharhinus longimanus), a requiem shark species typically found in the open sea, should not be confused with this species.

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