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Common Types Of Sharks

Updated on December 31, 2011

Types Of Sharks

Sharks are huge flesh eating marine fish belonging to the order selachii of class Pisces. There are nearly 350 species of sharks and they are believed to exist for nearly 300 years practically unmodified as they have always been well adapted to their environment. All the types of sharks have following characteristics:

  • They have an excellent sense of smell
  • They have a good sense of vision and hearing
  • They are all brilliant swimmers
  • They have strong mouth and jaws bearing long and strong teeth which are used for cutting the flesh of their prey
  • They have a cartilaginous skeleton
  • Their gill slits open to the exterior in a grill
  • Almost all the sharks lay eggs but very few species like mermaids purse bear young ones.

Below given are some of the famous species of sharks all over the world:

Basking Shark
Basking Shark

Basking Shark

Basking shark is an enormous shark weighing nearly 4 tons and extending up to 10 meters. It is the second largest fish in the world. The basking shark is found in deep water and is what we call a migrating fish as it never stays permanently in one place.

However they do prefer to stay in cool temperate water. The basking shark feeds on planktons and usually swims with an open mouth to allow the water to enter into their mouth so that their gills filter the water and extract planktons out of it.

Physically basking sharks are recognized by their bluish grey color, their conical snout and their gills which are the around the top and the bottom of their head. These sharks have lesser and smaller teeth as compared to the other sharks. Also due to their huge size they are slow swimmers. Despite of their extreme large size they are harmless.

Blue Shark
Blue Shark | Source

Blue Sharks

Contrary to the basking sharks, blue sharks are excellent swimmers; in fact they are the fastest swimming sharks of the world. They also have a slender and a small body which can stretch up to 12 feet maximum.

The blue sharks may appear small, but they are in fact one of the most dangerous and feared sharks of the world. They have a huge appetite and they are not choosy about their food, so they can eat any living thing that comes across their way including humans. Because of their ferocious speed their prey can hardly escape. Also they are famous for the fact that they never stay hungry.

Blue sharks are mostly found in temperate waters of Atlantic, Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean. They are dark blue in color and have a long and thin body. The color may vary from dark to indigo in some species. They have large pectoral fins because of which they can be easily identified.

The Great White Shark
The Great White Shark | Source

Great White Shark

The great white shark is the most dangerous shark of the world. These sharks are about as tall as blue sharks that is around 12 feet but they weigh around 1,000 pounds! These sharks too have a big appetite and they eat large animals even those which are half their size.

Mostly they feed on turtles, dolphins, seals, chunks of other whales, small fish and even humans if they encounter them. They swallow their food rather than chewing it.

The great white shark as the name suggest is white in color, it has big black eyes and large, notched and arrow shaped teeth. They are also famous for the fact that they at times raise their heads out of the surface of water.

Hammerhead Shark
Hammerhead Shark | Source

Hammerhead Sharks

Hammerhead shark is an aggressive shark which is famous for its hammer shaped head. This shark is found in all warm and temperate waters of the world. It has a very strong sense of smell.

The hammer head sharks have are not very tall as compared to other sharks and are around 4 meters in length. Their head is flat and compressed and appears like a hammer, they are olive brown in color with white undersides. The eyes and the nostrils of these sharks are located on the side of their head.

Hammer head sharks are in general very aggressive sharks they attack humans without being provoked.

An angel shark
An angel shark | Source

Angel Sharks

Angel sharks are unusual types of sharks which resemble sting rays but the major difference between these two is that sting rays have fins on their heads.

Angel heads are found in Deep Ocean and their body color camouflages with the dark water at the depth of the ocean. They are not as dangerous as the above mentioned sharks and feed on small mollusks and clams.

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