These fearsome predators can be devastating to their prey, although some have even adapted to eating small fish species.
They belong to the group of cartilaginous fish and are characterized by being large predators. They are feared by humans and can be up to 18 meters long and weigh more than 20 tons. In the following article, we provide you with more information about some of the shark species that exist.
What species of sharks are there?
With a skeleton made up of cartilage instead of bones and a skin made up of scales, which act as a silencer, without a doubt the most distinctive thing about shark species are their triangular or serrated teeth, which scare us so much. These are some of the shark species that exist:
1. White shark
Its scientific name is Carcharodon Carcharis and it lives in both warm and temperate waters of almost all oceans. It has existed since the Miocene and is believed to share origins with the prehistoric shark.
The white shark is one of the most ‘famous’ sharks due to its robust body, its large arched mouth always ajar to reveal a row of teeth, its narrow nostrils, its small eyes, and its two triangular pectoral fins. It can measure up to 7.5 meters and the males are smaller than the females.
2. Tiger shark
The Galeocerdo Cuvier is another shark species that inhabit warm and temperate waters of all oceans. Its name comes from the fact that it has dark transverse stripes as if it were a feline, which allows it to attack its prey –always at night and alone– while it is camouflaged in the depths of the water.
3. Basking Shark
It is the second largest after the whale shark since it can measure 10 meters and weigh four tons. It swims slowly and with its mouth open to filter the water, and thus get food ( mainly krill and plankton ).
It can be seen frequently near shorelines and while easily confused with the white shark, it has different teeth and can be tolerant of humans. Like the rest of its species, it is ovoviviparous: that is, the embryos develop in eggs inside the mother and are born after a year of gestation.
4. Whale shark
Also known as Rhincodon Typus, it is the largest fish in the world –measuring an average of 12 meters long– and lives in warm tropical and subtropical waters. In addition, it is quite old since it is believed that it has lived on our planet for 60 million years.
The whale shark has a completely white belly and grayish back, skin up to 10 centimeters thick, and small eyes. It feeds by filtering the water and its food consists of plankton, algae, krill and small crustaceans.
5. Bull Shark
Its scientific name is Carcharis Taurus, and it is also known as the sand tiger shark or damselfish. It lives in the Pacific, Indian, and Atlantic Oceans. It should be noted that its massive body is very characteristic, which can weigh up to 160 kilos and measure about three meters.
Bull sharks typically migrate 1,000 kilometers to cold or temperate waters to give birth to their young, and then head north to mate again. It is quite docile and does not pose a threat to people.
6. Blue Shark
It receives different names depending on where it lives and, although it is known as ‘blue’, it is not completely blue: the belly is white and the tips of the fins are black.
Its jaw has adapted to bite without problems and, therefore, it feeds on fish such as herring, mackerel, horse mackerel, or bonito. Females have two uteruses and can give birth to up to 35 pups at a time.
It is one of the most particular shark species because its head is prolonged on the sides and it has an eye at each end. It weighs half a ton and measures six meters, it is coastal and inhabits warm areas. Likewise, it has seven senses, and the most important is the one that allows it to detect frequency waves caused by fish, which it hunts at night in groups of 100 individuals.