91 Facts About Sharks That Will Send A Chill Down Your Spine

Anusuya Mukherjee
Oct 26, 2023 By Anusuya Mukherjee
Originally Published on Jan 13, 2022
Facts about sharks will tell you more about shark embryos and baby sharks.

Sharks come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors, ranging from as small as a human hand to as big as 40 ft (12.2 m) long.

IUCN has listed about 143 species of sharks as endangered, listing species from being vulnerable to critically endangered. Sharks are cold-blooded animals who have adapted vision in the dark, which enables them to see clearly even when there is reduced light.

They also have rough, sandpaper-like scales, which are covered with thin teeth-like structures called placoid scales. These scales are pointed towards their tails, which allows the sharks to reduce friction while swimming and gain high speeds in water.

Sharks are natural predators and carnivores, generally feeding on other life forms, such as fish, which inhabit their surroundings. Sharks also have different reproductive methods, depending on their species.

Some sharks are oviparous, meaning they lay eggs to give birth while others are viviparous.

Most sharks do not have bones in their skeleton like other vertebrates, rather they have a skeleton made from cartilaginous tissues, which is the same element that makes up the cartilage of our ears and nose.

These cartilaginous skeletons are extremely light compared to our skeletons, which gives the sharks buoyancy in the water and helps them achieve high speeds due to being lighter weight.

There are numerous types of well-known shark species, including the great white, bull, tiger, angel, and dogfish sharks as well as mackerel, weasel, zebra, crocodile, catsharks, and the whale shark.

After reading these interesting facts about blue sharks as well other shark species found along coral reefs, why not also check out facts about seals for kids and find out the answer to are whales mammals?

Fun Facts About Sharks

Sharks come in a huge variety of sizes. The smallest known shark is the Dwarf Lantern shark. Let's find out some more fun facts about sharks:

  • Most sharks have unique features. One such example is that of a Goblin shark, which has a unique pink color that is not found in any other sharks. This shark has a very peculiar snout, which is flat and long, unlike any fish.
  • Goblin sharks live deep underwater, almost near the ocean floor.
  • The Goblin shark is considered to be one of the oldest species of fish and has been nicknamed 'living fossil'.
  • Hammerhead sharks are known for their unique hammer-like head, which allows them to be more sensitive to their surroundings as well as provide them with a 360-degree vision.
  • One shark is named the cookie cutter shark, because of its unique, round bite marks.
  • Tiger sharks are known for eating almost anything, as they are predators as well as scavengers.
  • The longest gestation period found in any vertebrate occurs in the dogfish shark species, who go through two years of pregnancy before giving birth.
  • Sharks can freely move both their upper and lower jaws which enables them to grip their prey better and hold them by applying a lot of pressure from both jaws.
  • Most species of sharks need to keep swimming continuously in order to breathe. This also affects their sleeping, as sharks need to stay semi-conscious even when asleep.

Scary Facts About Sharks

Sharks are often viewed as ferocious with their big teeth and quick speed so let's find out some scary shark facts:

  • The structure and type of teeth vary in every species of shark. Many sharks can be identified from their unique bite marks. Mako sharks have very sharp teeth, while white sharks have serrated, angular teeth.
  • Sharks can have up to 35,000 teeth during their whole lifetime, as sharks grow teeth every time they lose one.
  • Sharks are apex predators meaning no other animal hunts sharks, except for some shark species like tiger sharks who sometimes prey on other sharks.
  • Sharks sit on the top of the marine food chain and help greatly in balancing marine ecosystems.
  • Sharks have small organs called ampullae of Lorenzini, which are located mainly on the tip of their snout. These organs have a very high sensitivity which detects any changes in temperature, and electrical and magnetic fields emitted by other creatures.
  • These organs are so powerful that they are said to almost give a sixth sense to sharks while detecting any prey or animal in their vicinity.
  • Sharks, especially whale sharks, can grow to a staggering length of about 40 ft (12.2 m), which also makes them the largest living animal on Earth.
  • Generally, female whale sharks are larger than males, mainly because they need to carry shark babies.
  • An ancestor of sharks, a now-extinct species named Carcharodon Megalodon, is said to be the earliest species of shark which lived about 16 million years ago.
  • A shark's bite is said to measure almost 4000 PSI (27,579 KPA), which is extremely high compared to lions or tigers, whose force is about 1000 PSI (6894.8 KPA), while humans pack a very weak biting force compared to these dangerous predators, only about 200 PSI (1,379 KPA).
Sharks come in various sizes, shapes, colors, and even habitats.

Different Types Of Sharks

There are many varieties of sharks so let's explore some of their fascinating differences:

  • The shortfin mako is known for being the fastest species of shark with a bullet-shaped body, which can reach up to a speed of 30 mph (48.3 kph). They are also known as blue pointer sharks or bonito sharks in many places. This species also has the ability to jump out of the water up to 20 ft (6.1 m) high and is also known to have jumped into boats from time to time.
  • The largest species of shark does not kill other creatures. Instead, a whale shark filter feeds on small crustaceans and planktons which inhabit the oceans. It is not a very aggressive species of sharks and is rarely known to attack any humans. Whale sharks can be found in the deep waters of oceans.
  • Tiger sharks are one of the most dangerous species of sharks and are also known for being aggressive towards humans. These sharks have distinct stripes on their body in the early years of their life, although they fade away in later life.
  • Tiger sharks eat almost every living creature they can find around them, including other fish, sea turtles, seals, dolphins, and sometimes even other sharks. Tiger sharks are also scavengers who feed on dead animals and remains if they find them. They are more commonly found in the oceans of tropical and subtropical regions.
  • Hammerhead sharks are one of the most interesting, unique, and distinctive species of sharks, especially because of the unique shape of their head.
  • There are several subspecies of hammerhead sharks including the mallet head, winghead, scoophead, and bonnethead.
  • One of the most interesting features of a hammerhead shark is the placing of their eyes, which enables them to have a 360-degree view of their surroundings, making it very difficult for any prey to escape their vision.

Facts About Sharks' Habitat

Sharks have been inhabiting the oceans and seas of our planet for millions of years. The earliest fossil scales found in Australia and the United States suggest that sharks first appeared in the ocean more than 450 million years ago, which is even before dinosaurs!

  • The habitat of sharks can be mainly classified on the basis of the temperatures of the water in which they live.
  • Sharks like the hammerhead shark and nurse shark can be found in warmer temperatures, in more tropical regions. Some sharks have adapted to survive in the frigid waters of the North and South poles.
  • Sharks that are found in the seas near the polar ice caps are the Greenland sleeper shark and the black dogfish shark. Some sharks prefer a moderate temperature that is not too hot or cold. These sharks inhabit the waters in temperate regions.
  • Some species prefer deeper, colder regions of the ocean while others tend to stay in more shallow waters. Some species even migrate from colder regions to hotter regions in winter, like the great white shark.
  • It is a misconception that sharks only live in saltwater, as some species, like the bull shark, have adapted to live in salt water, fresh water as well as brackish waters.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 91 Facts about sharks that will send a chill down your spine then why not take a look at do sharks eat dolphins, or baby pink dolphin?

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Written by Anusuya Mukherjee

Bachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

Anusuya Mukherjee picture

Anusuya MukherjeeBachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

With a wealth of international experience spanning Europe, Africa, North America, and the Middle East, Anusuya brings a unique perspective to her work as a Content Assistant and Content Updating Coordinator. She holds a law degree from India and has practiced law in India and Kuwait. Anusuya is a fan of rap music and enjoys a good cup of coffee in her free time. Currently, she is working on her novel, "Mr. Ivory Merchant".

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