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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

Jaws-ome Requiem Shark Facts For Kids

Requiem shark facts are fascinating to read.

Requiem sharks is a group of migratory live-bearing sharks of warm seas. There are more than 60 species of requiem sharks, including spinner sharks (Carcharhinus brevipinna), blacktip reef sharks (Carcharhinus melanopterus), lemon sharks (Negaprion brevirostris), Galapagos sharks (Carcharhinus galapagensis), and Australian sharpnose sharks (Rhizoprionodon taylori) . All the species of requiem shark are classified into 12 genera of the Carcharhinidae family. They are medium to large-scaled predator sharks. No wonder they are responsible for most shark attacks on humans. Already sounds scary, doesn't it?

They have strong and sturdy bodies with round eyes, protected by nictating membranes and long pectoral fins. They are merciless predators who can devour any marine creature smaller than them including various species of fish, sea turtles, and mollusks.

They are found throughout the world, including the Mediterranean Sea, the Pacific Ocean, and the Atlantic Ocean. They are migratory creatures and prefer warmer water temperatures.

To learn more, we have collected a set of interesting facts about requiem sharks for you to read. You can also learn more about fascinating wild animals and sharks by reading our articles on the blacktip shark and nurse shark.

Requiem Shark Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a requiem shark?

Requiem shark is a common name given to all sharks that are from the Carcharhinidae family. Their group is widespread throughout 12 genera, including the Carcharhinus, the Galeocerdo, and the Prionace. There are more than 60 species of requiem sharks identified so far, including the spinner shark, the pondicherry shark, and the Australian sharpnose shark. They are a group of fearsome predator sharks.

What class of animal does a requiem shark belong to?

A requiem shark belongs to the Chondrichthyes class of the Animalia kingdom. Similar to others from the Chondrichthyes class, all sharks including requiem sharks have cartilage in their body, instead of bones.

How many requiem sharks are there in the world?

It is extremely difficult to track down the current population of 60 species of sharks. Therefore, the total number of requiem sharks is yet unknown. According to the International Union For Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, species like whitecheek sharks are Endangered due to a decreasing population.

Where does a requiem shark live?

In short, one can say that requiem sharks are all over the world. For example, species like Pacific sharpnose sharks swim along the Pacific coast starting from southern California to Peru. Blue sharks are spotted throughout the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Indian Ocean. Tiger sharks are found everywhere except the Mediterranean Sea.

What is a requiem shark's habitat?

Requiem sharks are bottom-dwelling, migratory oceanic creatures. Their primary choice of habitat is warmer tropical waters and they're spotted in reefs, estuaries, and coastal areas. However, they can be spotted in backwaters and freshwaters as well. For example, species like the Ganges shark and Borneo river shark dwell in freshwaters.

Who do requiem sharks live with?

Requiem sharks can be both solitary or live in small to large-sized groups. For example, tiger sharks live a solitary life. Grey reef sharks form pairs only during the breeding season.

How long does a requiem shark live?

The lifespan of a requiem shark depends on its species, geographic range, and diet. For example, a bull shark lives for 12 to 16 years in the wild, and 30 years in captivity with proper care. A grey reef shark can live up to 25 years in ideal conditions.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season of requiem sharks takes place between late spring and early autumn. Every species has their own preferred time to breed. While forming the pair, a female shark ejects a special chemical to attract a male shark. After receiving it, male sharks engage in a courtship display, including biting female sharks to make a bond. Every shark in this group is viviparous, except tiger sharks which are ovoviviparous. An estuary is an ideal place to give birth to a pup as it is comparatively safe for pups.

What is their conservation status?

Most species of requiem sharks, such as river shark and milk shark, are listed as Vulnerable, while other species like Galapagos sharks are listed as a Least Concern species by the International Union For Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. However, there are requiem shark species like the Caribbean reef shark who is listed as an Endangered species. There are eight Extinct shark species as well.

Requiem Shark Fun Facts

What do requiem sharks look like?

Requiem sharks have a sturdy and firm body with long pectoral fins and round eyes, protected by nictating membranes. Sharks are easily identified by their gill slits, located on the sides of their head. Their coloration depends on their species. Most of these sharks have gray, brownish-gray, or bluish-gray-colored bodies with a white underbelly.

A grey reef shark, a species of requiem sharks, is the most fearsome predator off the coast of Hawaii.

How did the requiem shark get its name?

They got their name as a result of disputed etymology. The French word for 'shark' is 'requin', which is the primary key to their name.  There are two other words associated with the origin of their name as well. These words are 'requiem' which translates to 'death' or 'rest' in Latin and 'reschignier' which means 'to grimace while baring teeth'.

How do they communicate?

Requiem sharks communicate with others by arching their bodies visually. The way sharks utilize vibration signals is phenomenal. Their lateral line helps them to receive and intercept vibrations. That's the primary way sharks communicate with each other. This ability helps them to catch their prey as well. They can also interpret chemical cues.

How big is a requiem shark?

Typically, a requiem shark's length ranges between  2.2-18 ft (0.6-5.4 m). An Australian sharpnose shark is the tiniest one of the family and a tiger shark is the largest one of their group.

How fast can a requiem shark swim?

Requiem sharks are known as fierce predators. They can even swim great distances with an incredible speed to catch their prey. Their speed more or less depends on their species. For example, a bull shark can attain a top speed of 25 mph (40.2 kph).

How much does a requiem shark weigh?

The body mass of requiem sharks ranges between 528.6-1400 lb (240-635 kg). An Australian sharpnose shark is the lightest one in their group.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no particular names given to the different genders of requiem sharks.

What would you call a baby requiem shark?

A baby requiem shark is called a 'pup'.

What do they eat?

Sharks can pretty much devour almost every single aquatic creature that is smaller in size. They prey on sea turtles, octopuses, mollusks, various small fish, crustaceans, cephalopods, and jellyfish. They track their prey by sensing vibration in the water and can travel long distances while maintaining a magnificent speed to catch them.

Are they dangerous?

The word 'shark' itself somehow represents terror, probably because of thee effect of movies like 'Jaws' and 'The Meg'. Nevertheless, it's a proven fact that most sharks who have attacked humans throughout history were requiem sharks, making them dangerous indeed.

When did the requiem shark line appear?

While it is unclear when the requiem shark line appeared, an ancient species, Carcharhinus underwoodi, was discovered off the coast of Madagascar in 2019. This species was identified by its distinctive teeth fossils that were located in exposed soft rocks. This species existed around 40 million years ago, possibly during the Eocene, and is currently thought to be one of the most ancient requiem sharks ever identified.

Did you know...

A blacktip reef shark (Carcharhinus melanopterus) is easily identified by the presence of black tips located on their fins, except the anal fin.

Spinner sharks received their name because of their habit of coming to the surface and making a circle in the air by rotating three times.

What is the similarity between a requiem shark and a great white shark?

The only similarity one can spot between a requiem shark and a great white shark is in their sizes. Using tiger sharks as an example, only they have such a large body to match with a great white shark.

How do requiem sharks maintain neutral buoyancy?

Requiem sharks maintain neutral buoyancy by transforming their body into an air pocket by swallowing a huge amount of air from the surface. They also have low-density oils in their body which help them to maintain neutral buoyancy.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish including basking shark, or great white shark.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Requiem Shark coloring pages.

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