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Approximately 520!

Currently, over there are roughly 520 described species of sharks, however, new species room being defined all the time. In total, there are about 1,200 species of cartilaginous fishes, which includes the sharks, skates, chimaeras, and also rays. For detailed information on individual species, inspect out ours shark types profiles!


Over 400 million years!

Fossil records show that ancestors of contemporary sharks swam the seas over 400 million years ago, making castle older than dinosaurs!

Throughout time sharks have actually changed an extremely little.

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Elasmobranchs encompass sharks, rays, and skates.

Elasmobranchs room a closely related team of fishes, differing from bony fishes by having cartilaginous skeletons and also five or an ext gill slits on each side the the head. In contrast, bony fishes have actually bony skeletons and also a solitary gill cover.


No, sharks execute not have actually bones.

No, sharks and all other fishes belonging to the class Chondrichthyes that absence true bones. Instead, they have cartilaginous skeletons.

Cartilage is a type of connective tissue solid enough to offer support yet softer 보다 true bone. Cartilage is found in the person ear and also nose. Since cartilage is softer 보다 bone, that is really rare come find finish fossil continues to be of sharks.

That depends on the shark species.

While longevity data are not obtainable for plenty of sharks, maximum ages do vary by species.

Some sharks favor the smooth dogfish (Mustelus canis) may only live 16 years, while rather such together the porbeagle shark (Lamna nasus) may live as long as 46 years. In comparison, Whale sharks (Rhincodon typus), the largest fish in the world, may live end 100 years and also the Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus) is approximated to live much more than 400 years!

Shark skin feels precisely like sandpaper.

It is made up of tiny teeth-like structures referred to as placoid scales, also known as dermal denticles. This scales allude towards the tail and helps to alleviate friction from neighboring water once the shark swims.

Because of this, if who rubbed the skin from the head in the direction of the tail, it would certainly feel very smooth. In the opposite direction that feels really rough choose sandpaper.

As the shark grows, the placoid scales do not increase in size. Rather the shark grows an ext scales. The silky shark (Carcharhinus falciformis) has tiny scales providing it a “silky” feeling to the touch.

That counts on the shark species.

It was once believed that every sharks had actually to swim constantly in order to breathe and also could no sleep for an ext than a few minutes in ~ a time. Oxygen-rich water flows through the gills throughout movement permitting the shark come breathe.

While some types of sharks do should swim constantly, this is no true for every sharks. Part sharks such together the nurse shark have spiracles that force water across their gills allowing for stationary rest.

Sharks execute not sleep like people do, however instead have energetic and restful periods.

Sharks have eyes the are comparable to the human eye through some exceptions.

Sharks have actually the capability to open and close the pupil in an answer to differing light situations similar to people while most fish carry out not own this ability. A shark’s eye also includes a cornea, iris, lens, and also retina. Rods and also cones are located in the shark’s retina, permitting the shark to see in differing light situations. Recent work has said that most sharks perform not watch in color.

In addition, sharks, similar to cats, have a mirror-like great in the back of the eye referred to as the tapetum lucidum. This layer further increases the intensity of incoming light, improving the eye’s sensitivity come light.

Although that was as soon as thought that sharks had an extremely poor vision, we now know that sharks have actually sharp vision. Research has displayed that sharks might be an ext than 10x as sensitive come light together humans. Scientists likewise believe that sharks might be far-sighted, able come see better at distance quite than close-up, because of the structure of the eye. Vision varies among types of sharks due to differences in the size, concentrating ability, and strength of the eyes.


Sharks have great sense of hearing v ears located inside their heads top top both sides quite than external ears favor humans.

Sharks can hear ideal at frequencies listed below 1,000 Hertz which is the selection of most herbal aquatic sounds. This sense of hearing helps shark situate potential food swimming and also splashing in the water. Sharks additionally use your lateral line device to pick up vibrations and also sounds.

Sharks burned teeth their entirety lives.

Sharks have actually lots of this arranged in layers so if any break off, brand-new sharp teeth can automatically take their place. Sharks can burned thousands of teeth during their life, this is why sharks teeth deserve to be discovered washed ~ above beaches.

Shark teeth additionally fossilize quickly while the rest of the shark decomposes.


A shark’s coloring help it hide indigenous predators and also prey.

Sharks that swim in open water have a shade pattern referred to as “countershading”.

The upper part of the shark is dark in shade to make it an overwhelming to see the shark from over against the dark ocean water. The underside the the shark is irradiate in shade so it blends well with the lighter water close to the surface once viewed from below. Countershading renders it difficult for predators and also prey to check out sharks.

In many cases, yes.

Although shark flesh includes high level of urea and methylamine, any residual toxins that are not wash away when the shark meat is cleaned will quickly dissipate as soon as cooked.

However, sharks might contain high concentration of heavy metals, mainly in larger, enlarge individuals. Shark meat is low fat and provides a great source that protein for world living in numerous parts that the world. Below in Florida, us can regularly get fresh wild-caught blacktip shark which is safe and delicious.

The faster shark is the shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus).

The shortfin mako has actually been taped to with burst swim speeds of up to 43 mph (70 km/h). It can chase down few of the fastest fishes such as tuna and swordfish.


The largest shark, and also the largest fish in the s is the whale shark (Rhincodon typus). This substantial plankton-feeder reaches lengths of end 20m (60 feet).


The smallest shark is a deepwater dogfish shark recognized as the dwarf lanternshark (Etmopterus perryi). This species which is uncovered in the Caribbean Sea is mature in ~ under 20cm (~8 inches).


Sawfishes are carefully related come sharks, with long, flat, tooth-studded snouts regularly referred to as “saws”.

Sawfishes discovered off the coast of the United claims are the smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata) and also largetooth sawfish (Pristis pristis). Currently, the smalltooth and largetooth sawfishes are noted as a critically endangered varieties by the world Conservation Union (IUCN) and the U.S. Maritime Fisheries Service.


Sawfishes use their rostral saws come hunt with.

They probe muddy or silty bottoms of rivers and shores with their saws in search of marine invertebrates favor sea cucumbers, scallops, worms, crayfish, crabs, and shrimp. They can separate their food from the sand and mud by utilizing the witnessed as a rake.

The ‘saw’ may likewise be offered by the sawfish together it swims through colleges of fish to shock or injure tiny fishes which it feeds on.


The basking shark is usually seen swimming with its mouth vast open, taking in a constant flow of water. Food is strained indigenous the water through gill rakers located in the gill slits. The 1000-1300 gill rakers in the basking shark’s mouth have the right to strain up to 2000 loads of water every hour.

Occasionally the basking shark close the door its mouth to swallow its prey. These sharks feeding along locations that save on computer high densities of huge zooplankton (i.e., little crustaceans, invertebrate larvae, and fish eggs and larvae).

There is a concept that the basking shark feeds top top the surface when plankton is abundant, then sheds its gill rakers and also hibernates in depth water during winter. Alternatively, it has been suggested that the basking shark transforms to benthic (near bottom) feeding as soon as it loser its gill rakers. That is not well-known how often it sheds this gill rakers or just how rapidly they room replaced.

Hammerheads obtain their usual names native the large hammer-shaped head. This compressed head, additionally referred to as a cephalophoil, enables for easy difference from other species of sharks.

The cephalophoil is vast and flattened, through eyes situated on the outer edges the the cephalophoil, and also nostrils also spread much apart. It is thought that the head framework may offer the shark some sensory advantages. The vast head may be adapted to maximize lateral find area. V an increased distance in between the nostrils, hammerheads may be maybe to much better track scent trails.

Along through the pectoral fins, the cephalophoil might provide added lift and also maneuverability as the shark moves v the water. Hammerheads have larger musculature in the head region than various other Carcharhiniform sharks and also have a more comprehensive range the head movement. This enables them increased hydrodynamics and to maneuver easily at high speeds.

The cookiecutter shark (Isistius brasiliensis) stays in tropical and warm pleasant seas transparent the world. The is a tiny shark, reaching sizes of around 20 inch (50 cm).

This shark’s name originates from the cookiecutter-shaped bites it takes the end its victim which includes huge fish and also whales. A vacuum is developed when the cookiecutter shark’s lips affix to the victim. It climate takes out an oval-shaped bite of flesh by using its saw-like teeth, leaving behind a cookiecutter-shaped wound.


Different types of sharks have differing maximum depth in i m sorry they will certainly travel. Many species are restricted to a small depth variety where castle are many comfortable. Because that example, the goblin shark (Mitsukurina owstoni) lives 270-960 m (3150 ft or 0.6 miles) deep. The deepest taped individual was from 1,300 m (4265 feet or 0.8 miles) deep! some sharks, choose the cookiecutter shark (Isistius brasiliensis), make big vertical migrations. Travel from 3,281 feet (1000 m) deep to the surface ar at night come feed.

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Most shark species do not breach the water. The the few that do, 10-15ft is the maximum. White sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) just breach in a limited portion the their total range, despite this behavior is often connected with hunting seals. An ext commonly, smaller sized sharks in the genus Carcharhinus can be observed jumping 10-20ft if spinning follow me the US east Coast. There is quiet some conflict if these sharks space blacktips (Carcharhinus limbatus) or crackhead sharks (Carcharhinus brevipinna), provided how comparable the two types appear.

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