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Mako Shark

There are two Mako shark species.

  • Longfin Mako Shark – Isurus paucus
  • Shortfin Mako Shark – Isurus oxyrinchus

Shortfin Mako Shark

Isurus oxyrinchus

Mark Conlin, SWFSC Large Pelagics Program, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Male Shortfin sharks grow averagely about 1.9 m to 2.84 m in length and females grow from 2.8 m to 3.94 m. As you can see, females are way bigger than males. This can be seen in many animal forms. Shortfin sharks are metallic blue color on the top and white on the underside of the body. They have large awl-shaped non-serrated teeth. Can be seen temperate and tropical seas offshore waters warmer than 60 0F (16 0C) and they prefer to wander at nearly 152 m deep. Shortfin sharks are hyperactive. Like White sharks, they are warm-bodied and shortfin sharks are known as the fastest of all the sharks. They attack anyone in their sight. Very dangerous to humans.


Longfin Mako Shark

Isurus paucus

Photo by Kelly Lacy from Pexels

Longfin mako sharks are bigger than shortfin mako sharks. At birth, they are about 1 m to 1.2 m in length and they grow into 2.45 m to 4.17 m in length in the adult stage. The body is mainly dusky in color and the snout is not as pointed as the shortfin mako shark. The habitat of the longfin sharks is not yet identified correctly. But specialists predict that they prefer to be epipelagic in the deep water in oceans. They are also warm-bodied but they are very slow swimmers than shortfin sharks.

Nurse Shark

Ginglymostoma cirratum

Jst525 at English Wikipedia, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Nurse sharks are gray-brown or yellow-brown in color. Grown males are about 2.5 m in length and grown females are about 2.4 to 2.5 m in length.  The maximum length recorded is about 4.3 m. Their teeth are single large cusp, flanked on each side by 2 smaller cusps and they are similar in both jaws. Nurse sharks are mostly found in depths of 50 m on rock, coral reefs in Southern Brazil, the Gulf sea and the Caribbean Sea.

The nurse shark is a nocturnal animal. A very active swimmer at night but not very active in the daytime. Therefore most of the divers see this shark in its resting phase. One important feature of the nurse shark is that they have a well–defined home area. That is a fixed area that is unique to small groups of sharks. After the night hunting, they always return back to their home range for resting in the daytime.


Sand Tiger Shark

Carcharias taurus

UND77, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Sand tiger sharks which are also called Ragged-tooth sharks are bronze or gray in color on top and white on the underside. They have dark brown dots throughout the body. Adult males grow about 2.2 m to 2.57 m in length and females are 2.2 m to 3.0 m in length. Sand tiger sharks have protruding snaggle teeth. Teeth, awl-shaped and smooth-edged. Sand tiger sharks can be seen in shallow bays, rock and corals in the inshore. Mainly in the temperate oceans around the world. These sharks are fish eaters but also like to feed on crustaceans and squids. They only give birth to one pup at a time. Sand tiger shark usually swims with its mouth open and its teeth visible. But according to the current reported cases they haven’t attack humans vigorously. They threatened humans when they come too close by thumping their tails with a force that makes a booming sound. They also come to the shallow waters at night. Sand tiger sharks are listed as endangered species by the ICUN red list.

Spiny Dogfish

Squalus acanthias

NOAA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The spiny dogfish shark is a slightly different shark than others. They have a flat and elongated body with big eyes. They are grey in color on the upside and white below. Sometimes white spots can be seen on the body as well. The Head is not pointy. It is narrow.  A single short spine can be seen anterior to every dorsal fin. And anal fin is lacking. Spiny dogfish are not very large sharks. Mature male is about 59 cm to 72 cm in length and female is about 76 cm 100 cm.

Spiny dogfish usually swim around in very deep waters around 900 m. And they prefer cold water. They can be seen worldwide except near poles. Spiny dogfish are very long-living animal species. They live around 100 years. Their growth is slow. They are listed as near threatened globally by IUCN.

Tiger Shark

Galeocerdo cuvier

Albert kok, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Tiger shark is one of the most dangerous sharks in the world. Has an extremely wide blunt snout and a caudal keel. Mostly gray or olive to black on top and pale yellow or pale gray below. Young sharks have dark vertical lines like tigers. That is why they are called tiger sharks. But the lines fade as they grow. A grown male is about 2.2 m to 2.9 m in length and a grown female is about 2.5 m to 3.5 m in length. They have cockscomb-shaped cutting teeth and blades diagonally positioned.

These sharks are known as coastal species. But they are usually found at a deep of 305 m. Mostly found on tropical and warm temperate seas. Tiger sharks are omnivorous. They feed on almost anything. That makes him a dangerous animal. Tiger sharks can be found solitary or in small groups of 5 or 6.  And most importantly, tiger sharks are nocturnal. They attack in the dark. They are only second to the white sharks in terms of danger. They are considered the most dangerous tropical shark.


Whale Shark

Rhincodon typus

User:Zac Wolf (original), en:User:Stefan (cropping), CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

Whale sharks are the biggest fish in the world. Now you may think, “No it’s the blue whale. right?” but whales are mammals. Therefore, whale shark becomes the biggest fish. Their body has a checkerboard pattern of yellow or white stripes and spots on a grey body. Grown males are about 6 m in length and females are about 8 m in length. But the average maximum sizes that have been recorded are around 17 m to 21 m. They are huge.  Wander around 762 m in deep and also can be found on inshore off beaches. They are found on tropical and warm temperate seas all around the world.

They are also known as gentle giants because of their size and behavioral patterns. They are also known as very good migrators. Very long-distance migrators. Because of their gentle behavior, they are extremely vulnerable to over-exploitations. Therefore they are considered to be protected by CITES and CMS conventions.

Spotted Wobbegong Shark

Orectolobus maculatus

Very strange shark with a squat-bodied shark. Has a large flattened head and a fleshy beard. Wobbegong sharks are very well camouflaged. It has meshwork on his body. Usually 1.2 m in length. They have enlarged and very sharp teeth. Mostly found in Western Pacific and Northern Australian tropical seas. They are also nocturnal and they hunt at night. These sharks are usually unaggressive until they are provoked. But dangerous to humans.


Zebra Shark

Stegostoma fasciatum

Makolga3113, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A Zebra shark is a large and slender shark. They are yellowish and have dark spots on the upper side of the body. Younger sharks are dark brown in color. They can be easily identified by their spot patterns. The male sharks are usually is about 1.4m to 1.8 m in length and females are about 1.6 m to 1.7 m in length. Mostly found in Indo – West Pacific and tropical seas. Their habitats are in offshore sediments. Mostly they rest in coral lagoons and not the very deep sea. They feed on small bony fishes and mollusks. They are also most active at night. They are on the vulnerable list by the IUCN red list.

Reference: https://www.sharks.org/species

Featured image by: Photo by Laura College on Unsplash

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