Types of Sharks – Most people think of a shark as a big violent predator with very sharp teeth ranging the sea in search of food. But in fact, there are over 400 different species of sharks.
Did you know that sharks are some of the most amazing and most misunderstood creatures on the planet?
- 1 Is a Shark a Mammal or Fish?
- 2 Are Sharks Fish?
- 3 Where do Sharks Fit in to All This?
- 4 How Many Bones Does a Shark Have?
- 5 How Many Teeth Does a Shark Have?
- 6 What Do Sharks Eat?
- 7 Do Sharks Sleep?
- 8 When Sharks Attack?
- 9 Feeding Frenzy
- 10 Where Do Sharks Live?
- 11 Shark Migration
- 12 Shark Evolution
- 13 Extinct Sharks
- 14 Endangered And Protected Species
- 15 What Species of Shark is the Largest?
- 16 Which Shark is the Most Common?
- 17 How Fast are Sharks?
- 18 Do Sharks Drown if they Stop Swimming?
- 19 Oceanic Whitetip Shark
- 20 Did You Know? Amazing Facts about Oceanic Whitetip Sharks
- 20.1 Oceanic Whitetip Sharks are extremely endangered
- 20.2 Oceanic Whitetip Sharks are highly valued for its meat
- 20.3 Oceanic Whitetip Sharks has a very famous doubter
- 20.4 Oceanic Whitetip Sharks are being blamed for countless shipwreck deaths
- 20.5 Oceanic Whitetip Sharks are extremely engaged in Feeding Frenzies
- 20.6 Oceanic Whitetip Sharks act like dogs sometimes
- 20.7 Oceanic Whitetip Sharks are slow swimmers
- 20.8 Oceanic Whitetip Sharks choose warm waters
- 20.9 Oceanic Whitetip Sharks are not diurnal
- 20.10 Oceanic Whitetip Sharks like deep waters
- 21 Wobbegong shark
- 22 Top 10 Wobbegong Shark Facts
- 22.1 Wobbegong simply means “shaggy beard”
- 22.2 Wobbegong sharks are also popularly known as “carpet sharks”
- 22.3 There are known 12 species of wobbegong sharks
- 22.4 Wobbegong sharks are lazy
- 22.5 Wobbegong sharks can actually “walk”
- 22.6 Wobble sharks hunt by means of ambush
- 22.7 Wobbegong sharks have strong jaws and sharp teeth
- 22.8 Wobbegong shark females give birth to pups
- 22.9 Some of the wobbegong sharps can serve as pets
- 22.10 Wobbegong shark are currently not endangered
- 23 Smallest Shark in the World
- 23.1 1. Dwarf Lanternshark
- 23.2 2. Pale Catshark
- 23.3 3. Panama Ghost Catshark
- 23.4 4. Atlantic Ghost Catshark
- 23.5 5. Green Lantern Shark
- 23.6 6. Pygmy Shark
- 23.7 7. African Lanternshark
- 23.8 8. Broadnose Catshark
- 23.9 9. Spined Pygmy Shark
- 23.10 10. Granular Dogfish
- 23.11 11. Smalleye Pygmy Shark
- 23.12 12. Lollipop Catshark (Cephalurus cephalus)
- 23.13 13. Longnose Pygmy Shark (Heteroscymnoides marleyi)
- 23.14 14. Combtoot Lanternshark (Etmopterus decacuspidatus)
- 23.15 15. Bristly Catshark (Halaelurus hispidus)
- 23.16 16. Ornate Dogfish (Centroscyllium ornatum)
- 23.17 17. Dwarf Sawtail Catshark (Galeus schultzi)
- 23.18 18. Peppered Catshark (Galeus piperatus)
- 23.19 19. Longfin Catshark (Apristurus herklotsi)
- 23.20 20. Quagga Catshark (Halaelurus quagga)
Is a Shark a Mammal or Fish?
That is the question that is perhaps most commonly asked when talking about sharks. Since sharks give birth to pups, and a few species lay eggs, the common consensus is that sharks are mammals.
Across the board, though, 70% of all sharks give birth, while the remaining 30% lay eggs. Sharks are actually fish, which is sure to be a surprise to many.
Are Sharks Fish?
Mammals are warn-blooded creatures that are identified by giving birth to live kids, being covered in hair, and feeding their offspring via milk from mammary glands.
Fish are aquatic creatures that are mostly cold-blood. Most have scales, breathe through gills, and come with two sets of fins, some of which are paired, while others are not.
Where do Sharks Fit in to All This?
How do Sharks Breathe?
Mammals and fish are equipped with totally different breathing mechanisms. Sea mammals such as dolphins and whales rely on a blowhole to draw air into their lungs. These mammals periodically need to break the surface of the ocean to draw in that air.
Between those moments, they keep their blowholes closes to prevent water from seeping into their lungs. Fish can stay underwater at all times, using their gills to breathe in and out.
Fish take water in through the mouth and pass it out through the gills. Sharks are not equipped with lungs, but they do have anywhere from 5 to 7 gill openings to help them breathe underwater.
Mammals and fish are also separated by the way in which their skin feels and operates. Warm-blooded mammals have smooth skin that remains that way because their bodies are able to regulate temperature because of that blood flow and temperature.
The skin that covers fish cannot be kept warm that way, and can be adversely affected by the temperature of the water that they are swimming in.
While the skin of a shark may appear to be smooth, it is actually made up of toothy scales known as dermal denticles. These jagged scales prevent the skin from parasitic damage, whilst also helping the shark move through the water quickly.
Sea mammals come equipped with a single dorsal fin, or sometimes none at all. Fish, on the other hand, have more than one dorsal fin, and are usually equipped with several in different parts of the body, with each one serving a specific purpose, such as steering or stabilizing.
The fins that a shark have help them move forward at speed, but are unable to allow them to move backwards or sideways. If a shark want to get past an object, it allows its body to drift away from it.
As you should be beginning to see by now, there are definite looks and traits that clearly identify a shark as a fish.
Sharks come in all different shapes and sizes, with some as small as your hand to others that are upwards of the size of a bus. The Spined Pygmy shark measures in a just 7 inches, while the Whale shark can get up to 50 feet in length.
On average, though, mot sharks fall into the range of human size although roughly 50% of the 368 different types of shark are under 39 inches in length.
The body shapes of sharks are also wide and varied. Most sharks have a torpedo shape that helps them cut through the water quickly. Sharks that fall into the bottom-dwelling variety often have flattened bodies that help them hide along the bottom of the ocean.
Cookiecutter sharks, and some other varieties, have an elongated body, while an elongated snout belongs to the Sawshark.
The wide head of the Hammerhead shark is very different, as it the elongated upper tail fin of the thresher shark.The Goblin shark has an odd-looking protuberance on its head that seems to serve little purpose.
Different Species Of Sharks
Shark species fall into 30 different families and 368 different species. Each family has a distinct look, way of life, and eating habit. They also have different features, personalities, methods of reproduction, and more.
There are species of shark that are quite common, while others, such as the Megamouth, are quite rare. Sharks are part of the Elasmobranchii, which is a group of cartilaginous fish that also includes rays and skates.
How Many Bones Does a Shark Have?
Sharks have cartilage, not bones, although there are parts of their skeleton that is calcified. Cartilage is strong, but is also softer than bone. To get an idea of how it feels, touch your nose or ears.
How Many Teeth Does a Shark Have?
While sharks can have as many as 3,000 teeth, they do not use them to chew, as they gulp down whatever they eat.
These teeth are arranged in rows, with as many as 5 rows in the mouth at any given time. It is the front set of teeth that does the majority of the work. When a shark loses or damages a tooth, it is quickly replaced by another.
What Do Sharks Eat?
Sharks are carnivores, but what they eat is all over the place.
- Great whites, as well as other varieties, are fast predators that love fish, marine mammals, squid, and even other sharks.
- Slower shark varieties, such as the Angelshark, will crush and eat shellfish that reside on the ocean floor.
- Some sharks operate as filter feeders, gobbling up plankton and small animals, which they do by swimming with an open mouth.
Do Sharks Sleep?
Fish do not sleep in the same way as humans, as they rest by having inactive periods. Some shark types are able to rest on the ocean floor without moving, while others need to be in a constant state of motion to breathe.
When Sharks Attack?
Some sharks, such as the Great White, adopt and aggressive posture prior to attacking. By arching their back and throwing back their head, they put their mouth in a much more favorable biting position. Their tails move more acutely, perhaps because they are preparing for a chase.
While people are sometimes attacked by sharks, it is not common, with only about 25 species known to attack humans. Shark attacks always make the news, but with less than 100 human attacks annually, you have a better chance of being struck by lightning than being attacked by a shark.
Of the sharks that do go after people, the most dangerous of the lot are Great White’s, Bull shark’s, Tiger sharks, and the Oceanic Whitetip shark. Bull shark attacks are the most common, simply because they live in shallow water, which is where more people congregate.
Many of the attacks come because the shark mistakes the person for a seal or a sea lion which they love to eat. Other types of sharks that have been known to attack humans include Wobbegong, Hammerheads, Mako sharks, Lemon shark, Nurse shark, and a few others.
There will be times when a group of sharks will attack a prey in rather crazy fashion. While this attack is taking place, the sharks in the group will eat anything in sight, including one another.
Where Do Sharks Live?
The oceans and seas of the world are home to sharks, and in areas where the water is warm, sometimes even rivers and lakes. While some sharks prefer the murky depths of the ocean floor, others are more at home in the shallows.
The sharks that live in the open ocean are known as Pelagic sharks, and include the Great White and the Basking shark. The sharks that live on the ocean floor are called Benthic sharks, and they include the Angelshark and Wobbegong.
The shape of their bodies tends to be more flattened, making it easier for them to navigate the ocean bed. The Amazon in Brazil and the Mississippi in the USA are rivers where sharks have been known to call home. The Bull shark has regularly been found living in fresh water regions.
Hammerheads, Bull sharks and Tiger sharks prefer warmer water, whereas temperate waters are home to the likes of the Blue shark, Mako shark, and Basking shark.
The Goblin shark and the Dogfish are much more at home in cooler water. Some sharks are happy to stay in the same area their entire life, while others swim to different regions.
When talking about migration, you need to discuss 3 different types of sharks:
- Local sharks – These sharks never stray more than 100 feet from where they live, and they do not migrate. The Nurse and Bonnethead shark are examples.
- Coastal Pelagic sharks – The Tiger shark, Dusky shark, and Blacktip shark fall into this category. These sharks will migrate as much as 1,000 miles from home.
- Highly Pelagic sharks – The Blue shark and Mako shark fall into this group, which are creatures that migrate across oceans.
Sharks have been around for hundreds of millions of years, and they evolved roughly 100 million years before dinosaurs. We get this information from fossilized teeth and skin impressions.
Some of the earliest sharks were known as Cladodonts, 6-feet long beasts with double-pointed teeth. They swan in our oceans around 360 million years ago.
The Megalodon was a mammoth shark that measured rightly 40-feet in length, and which dominated the oceans millions of years ago. Teeth from this massive beast have been found, and while they are similar to those of a Great White they are about 3 times the size, which equates to the size of a human hand.
The reason that we need to rely on teeth for information is because sharks have no bones, therefore making it impossible for fossils to be discovered.
Endangered And Protected Species
Humans routinely hunt sharks, particularly the larger species, which is endangering certain groups. The Great White, Whale shark, and Basking shark are among the most at risk. The Great White is protected in waters off California and South Africa.
What Species of Shark is the Largest?
The Whale shark is well names, as this species is huge. This monster can grow to be the size of a school bus, which means that it is just shy of 40-feet in length.
Let’s compare that to the most commonly known shark in the world: The Great White. That species grows at a rate of about 10 inches per year until it reaches the average length of about 12-14 feet which is still well short of the Whale shark.
Which Shark is the Most Common?
source: oceanwidelmages.comOf the larger varieties, it is the Ocean Whitetip, which is found in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, that is the most common. The Spiny Dogfish is the most common of the smaller species, and is usually found in the North Atlantic.
How Fast are Sharks?
He fastest recorded species is the Shortfin Mao shark, which has been pegged at speeds of 65 mph. To put that in perspective, this shark would be keeping pace with your car on the highway.
Do Sharks Drown if they Stop Swimming?
Yes, there are several shark species that need to be in a constant state of motion in order to breathe. These creatures require the flow of water through their open mouths to breathe properly, so it stands to reason that not moving would cut off that water flow and hamper their ability to breathe.
Some shark species that make their home on the ocean floor are able to breathe when they are still. One example of that is the Carpet shark, which is able to breathe thanks to spiracles that are located behind their eyes.
Read Also: What do jellyfish eat?
Oceanic Whitetip Shark
One of the amazing things about sharks is you can find z large variety of them. Yes, take for example the oceanic white tip shark.
This is also called the Carcharhinus longimanus. Other names have been associated with the shark such as Brown Miller’s sand bar shark, nigano shark, brown shark, oceanic white-tipped whaler and much more.
This kind of shark is a threat to both shipwreck and air crash survivors at sea. Despite the aggressiveness and slow moving movement, the recent reports state the shark is declining population, Its large fins are one of the main ingredients of the famous shark fin soup.
In this way, the shark faces a dilemma despite the range and aggressiveness it has to sailors and other species.
In 1831, the famous naturalist Rene-Prinevre Lesson first coined the shark and named it Carcharhinus maou. In the year 1861, Cuban Felipe Poey named it as Squalus longimanus.
The name has a close resemblance due to its Latin name of “Long Hands”. This refers to the fins that are described as large in size and length.
However, according to the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature, the accepted scientific name of the shark should be Carcharhinus maou. This has to do with the oceanic white tip shark size. Despite the accepted name, Squalus longimanus is often used as its name.
Shark Habitat and Distribution
The shark could be found in the deep ocean water. The temperature of this part is a greater 18 °C (64 °F). It likes the temperatures between 68 and 82 °F. The shark avoids such temperatures that fall below this one.
During those times, many of it could be found in the ocean. However, according to the recent studies, the population of it declined.
Thus, this ended a large report on the large case of oceanic white tip shark attacks. Between 1999 and 2000, the parts of the Northwest and Central Atlantic have a major decrease in its number around 70%.
You can find the shark on any part of the globe. If you traveling about 68 and 82 °F latitude, there’s a sure way you would see these sharks.
In the year 2004, a dead shark was found in the western east coast of Sweden. It is found out the dead went beyond its boundary range. This explains why the shark is already dead.
A few of the oceanic white tip shark facts you would be eager to know is this. The shark most likely spends its time in the upper layer of the ocean about 150 m. When it comes to the deep shore areas, it likes to remain off shore.
According to a recent data, the oceanic whitetip shark population largely depends on the distance it goes on from the ocean to the ocean floor. If the shark is found in a suitable habitat, then, there is a chance to expect a large population of the sharks.
The given examples of the places suitable to the sharks are the shallow waters as 37 m. An example of this is the mainland location of Hawaii.
In this case, the sharks could access the deep continental shallow part. Most of the time, the shark is observed to be alone. However, if the food is plenty, there is a large number of oceanic white tip shark size found in the area.
The shark could be found during night and day. Therefore, if you are traveling within its boundary lines, there is a possibility you can experience oceanic white tip shark attacks without any sign of warning. The shark, on the other hand, is slow and has the fins used for a faster swim.
Despite to the isolation, it gives to the fellow species related to it, many other species do take the chance of following it. In 1988, Jeremy Stafford-Deitsch has reported seeing the shark with the company of a short fin pilot whale.
In terms of the eating habit of the shark, it mostly eats pelagic cephalopods and the bony fish. However, it can be more selective in eating a wide variety of species such as the threadfins, stingrays’ sea turtles, birds and much more that would fit its appetite.
The bony fish it feeds include the tuna, jacks, marlin, mackerel and much more belonging to the category. The eating procedure includes biting or opening its wide mouth through schools of tuna fish. While it is eating, the shark becomes more aggressive.
This type of shark is typically slow moving and often moves alone. It tends to cruise on the top of the water column and scans the ocean floor for possible food sources.
Until the 16th century, the oceanic white tip shark facts tend to describe this shark as “sea dogs”. This is due to the dog like behavior in seeing a food source.
The movement of the shark becomes more avid and it makes a stubborn approach in going near the food. It also gives a safe distance movement bur strikes in when the opportunity is open.
The oceanic whitetip shark is not a fast swimmer but it can produce a large amount of speed when in competition with the silky shark. This is the reason you would observe it having an aggressive display while swimming with the silky shark.
The feeding process of the sharks starts in groups. At this point, you might notice a feeding frenzy characterized by blood in the water or sudden form of bursts. The predator like the character of the shark makes it find the food easy to have. Hence, a faster way of having a future meal is assured.
The Reproduction Process
The mating season of the sharks, start in the early summer in the Northwest Atan1ic Ocean and the Southwest Indian Ocean. However, there in the Pacific, an oceanic whitetip shark size of its embryo is discovered in the female sharks that pertain to a longer mating season.
The development of the newborn sharks tends to be a year. Before the birth of the shark, the embryos are developed inside the utero and are fed in by a placental sac.
Did You Know? Amazing Facts about Oceanic Whitetip Sharks
Oceanic Whitetip Sharks are extremely endangered
Did you know that oceanic whitetip sharks are categorized as rare and vulnerable species of shark in a few parts of the world? To support that fact, during 1969 and 2003, there has been a ratio of 70% decline in the population number of these sharks and that numbers keeps on increasing each year.
Further, between environmental pressures, the ruthless practice of shark finning as well as the slow reproductive number, Oceanic Whitetip Sharks are in very serious danger of becoming extinct.
Oceanic Whitetip Sharks are highly valued for its meat
Did you know that Oceanic Whitetip Sharks the same with Requiem Sharks are extremely valued by fishermen for its tasty meat? The hyde of the fish is utilized for leather and the sharks are also valued for its fins for shark fin soup, given that their dorsal and pectoral fins are quite big.
Having that increase market value denotes that they are being fished all around the world and are now experiencing population pressure from those commercial fishing.
Oceanic Whitetip Sharks has a very famous doubter
Did you know that Jacques Cousteau, the sought after and world renowned oceanographer in is very wary of Oceanic Whitetip Sharks? In one interview, he was asked if what species of shark he found to be the most is the most dangerous.
He answered by telling it was the Oceanic Whitetip Sharks. Even though this species if the shark is famous for being the most violent sharks in the water, Jacques argues that given that the Oceanic Whitetip Sharks have killed many people before, more effectively, they are more dangerous that other species of shark.
Oceanic Whitetip Sharks are being blamed for countless shipwreck deaths
Did you know that there are many instances throughout the history when a shipwreck has happened; this species of shark will unscrupulously feed on the shipwreck preys? There is a famous instance of this kind of behavior.
The first scenario was on 1945 where the USS Indianapolis was being torpedoed, the sharks attacked and killed more than 800 soldiers. The another scenario is on the same year when a steamship sunk outer coast of the South Africa and the shark were responsible for more than 1,000 passengers who died.
Oceanic Whitetip Sharks are extremely engaged in Feeding Frenzies
Did you know that Oceanic Whitetip Sharks are sometimes observed engaging themselves in a “feeding frenzy?” In case you didn’t know yet, the feeding frenzy is a misnomer because it thinks that Oceanic Whitetip Sharks are only rapidly criticizing as a result of a bloodlust.
As a matter of fact, they are engaging in complicated social behavior and a group hunting. Furthermore, feeding frenzies are in fact a very cooperative and methodical ways, which Oceanic Whitetip Sharks will hunt in a group. These species are taking turns sharing and striking foods, instead of just violently eating and killing.
Oceanic Whitetip Sharks act like dogs sometimes
Did you know that another famous pen name for Oceanic Whitetip Sharks is “sea dogs?” This is because they sometimes show dog-like attitudes. Every time Oceanic Whitetip Sharks discovers something interesting, they will approach carefully and will retreat when it feel vulnerable.
The same with dogs, they will also wait for the right time to return and sneak an attack. In addition, Oceanic Whitetip Sharks are also classified to follow ships the manner a dog will follow its own master.
Oceanic Whitetip Sharks are slow swimmers
Did you know that Oceanic Whitetip Sharks are species of shark, which belong to the requiem shark family? In case you didn’t know yet, requiem sharks are recognized for being a slow swimmer, while Oceanic Whitetip Sharks are no different.
Nevertheless, they are capable of doing short bursts of amazing speed. They are more likely to cruise slowly along at the top of the water column searching to catch a prey.
Many scientists assume that the coloration of this species of shark is to trick the fish into believing that they are a school at night, thus the prey comes near enough so they can rapidly lunge out and catch them.
Oceanic Whitetip Sharks choose warm waters
Did you know that Oceanic Whitetip Sharks are more likely to be seen in the equator in both tropical and sub-tropical bodies of water across the globe? These species of shark prefer warm waters along with temperatures between 20 to 28 Celsius.
Whenever the water temperature lessens because of the seasonal changes, Oceanic Whitetip Sharks will now migrate to the warmer areas. Further, they have never been seen in water colder than 10 degrees Celsius.
Oceanic Whitetip Sharks are not diurnal
Did you know that Oceanic Whitetip Sharks aren’t diurnal? Meaning they are active both night and day. Oceanic Whitetip Sharks depends on ram breathing that denotes they need to continuously swim in order to pump oxygen over its gills, so they don’t sleep.
Did you also know that they are called as the “Dark Knight of the Ocean?” This is mainly because they are more likely to search food at nighttime. Even though they are nocturnal, they will feed during the day when a simple meal shows itself.
Oceanic Whitetip Sharks like deep waters
Last, but not the least, did you know that Oceanic Whitetip Sharks prefer deep ocean waters? They are more likely to search food in the water column 150-meter below the surface. Moreover, they have been seen at waters as narrow as 37-meterr and along coastlines.
Nevertheless, they are more likely to hunt in those waters when they are close to a continental shelf where they have access to the deeper waters they like.
There you have it, the ten amazing facts about Oceanic Whitetip Sharks. One must remember that these species of sharks are under the threat of humankind, being killed at an extraordinary rate for their leather and meat. This is why it’s so essential to learning more about them.
Some of the most interesting and fascinating creatures found in ocean, sharks are actually of over 400 species and people only know a few of them. Only few people are aware of the existence of wobbegong shark.
They may have a funny a name, but they are quite real. Also, they may be with the fearsomeness of great white sharks, but they have some of the greatest characteristics up their sleeves.
Wobbegong shark belongs to twelve species of the carpet sharks from the Orectolobidae family. Commonly, they can be found in the tropical waters with shallow temperature of East Indian Ocean and Western part of Pacific Ocean.
The term “wobbegong” is believed to originate from the Australian aboriginal language that simply means “shaggy beard” which refers to the developments around their mouth of western Pacific.
Wobbegong Shark Characteristics
One of the interesting wobbegong shark facts is that these sharks are considered to be bottom-dwelling sharks, meaning they are spending most of their time in resting and hiding on the sea floor.
Also, their characteristics being bottom dwellers and of being well camouflaged are great advantages for them as they hide around rocks and any other places in spotting their potential prey. Wobbegong shark can be seen in the sandy parts of the coral reef where they find plenty of foods.
Most of the species of wobbegong shark have the extreme length of 5 feet (1.5 m) or lesser and the largest are the speckled wobbegong (Orectolobus maculatus) and the hooped wobbegong (O. halei) which can reach about 9.8 feet (3 m) in length.
Wobbegong shark is an ambush predator and can ideally strike at smaller fish that they are straying closer to their hiding place. Their camouflage is well-improved through the existence of their tiny weed-like hairsbreadth lobes that surround their jaw acting as sensory barbs.
Wobbegong Shark Feeding
Wobbegong shark species feed at night upon the invertebrates and benthic fish. During the day, specie like tasseled wobbegong shark is resting in sheltered areas, including caves under the ledges.
Their mouth is quite large and the wobbegong teeth are very strong to where they have been seen tremendously swallowing other sharks whole. Wobbegong shark can be fed on other fish sharing its caves.
Wobbegong Shark Reproduction
Wobbegong shark like tasseled wobbegong shark is considered to be ovoviviparous, therefore that their females’ eggs develop within their body. During the process, the young can get the nourishment in the wobbegong shark womb from the egg yolk. Pups are approximately about 7 to 8 inches long when born.
Wobbegong Shark Captivity
There are some cases for unstoppable selling of wobbegong shark in the aquarium and chooses to be wobbegong pet despite of the fact that they are not suitable for home aquaria because of their large size, especially the adult wobbegong shark.
The species of small tasseled wobbegong shark and ward’s wobbegong are the ideal sharks for enthusiastic aquarists due to their appropriate size and are lethargic where they can be housed within limited space.
On the hand, some of the aquarists prefer more active sharks than wobbegong pet because of limited activity. Wobbegong shark is quite nocturnal and because of their sluggish metabolism they do not need to be fed often compared to other shark.
Most of them are doing well on weekly two feedings while the underfed wobbegong sharks can easily be recognized through their visible atrophied dorsal musculature.
Where to See Wobbegong Shark
Mostly, wobbegong shark are seen in the oceans of Pacific and Indian around Indonesia and Australia. They can be usually found in the shallow part water and mostly near the quite developed areas such as the urban beaches in the part of Western Australian coasts of Queensland & New South Wales.
Manly Beach, nearby Sydney is characterized with fairly huge population which a common spot for scuba diving making it possible to spot wobbegong shark.
When to See Wobbegong Shark
Wobbegong shark could be seen a year round although on their habitat’s cooler climates, but they can be most frequently spotted during warm months. They can be reliably found in similar areas dive afterward dive since they are popularly known to be bottom dwellers and highly territorial.
Also, wobbegong shark are primarily nocturnal, so they can be easily found during the day where they become less or more dominant exhibiting more activities when spotted during night dives.
Wobbegong Shark Human Interactions
Wobbegong shark are considerable not threatening to humans, but due to their ability to camouflage into their environment, combined with wobbegong sharp teeth that are sharp that can actually result to painful bite.
There are only few reported incidents wherein divers have been grabbed by wobbegongs by their tails with the attempt of pulling them from under of the rock shelf causing the shark to piece. Wobbegong shark teeth are small yet quite sharp, so their bite is severe though often not dangerous.
Actually, wobbegong sharks are those that are being eaten frequently by humans. Their meat is known to be sold in the name of “flake” and commonly used in producing Fish and Chips particularly in Australia.
Wobbegong Shark Endangered Status
There is a variation of species for the endangered status for wobbegong shark that is commonly fished in the regions they inhabit for commercial purposes. Most of the species are in Near Threatened range while some data are lacking in some.
So, if you have ever seen wobbegong shark, tell us where you saw it.
Top 10 Wobbegong Shark Facts
Wobbegong shark is considered to be one of the most amazing and extraordinary looking species of shark. Although they have been seen over 100 years ago, they are less people who know well about them. These sharks have branched and distinct lobes extending from head and with flattened appearance.
Wobbegong simply means “shaggy beard”
The word “wobbegong” might sound similar something out of Dr. Seuss book, but it is quite real word. Originally, it came from Australian Aborigine language or the natives of Australia which simply means “shaggy beard.” In Australia, people lovingly called wobbegong sharks as “wobbies.”
The reason behind why wobbegong sharks were called “shaggy” is due to their look having a beard. They have whiskers also known as barbels around nose and flap of skins that appears like fins around their mouths, eyes and on their head’s other sides.
The scientific name of the wobbegong shark family is Orectolobidae, from Greek words orektus, meaning “stretched out” and lobos, meaning “lobe.”
Wobbegong sharks are also popularly known as “carpet sharks”
Wobbegong shark is also called carpet shark because of their ability to be bottom dwellers which is relatively stays on the ocean floor. They have greenish or brownish skin covering in a unique bold markings pattern that effectively keep them camouflaged on the sandy areas and make them hide from larger fish and other marine mammals.
However, they are quite well-hidden sometimes where people tend to step on them resulting to painful bites.
There are known 12 species of wobbegong sharks
The family of wobbegong sharks includes spotted wobbegong, banded wobbegong, ornate wobbegong, floral banded wobbegong, dwarf spotted wobbegong, Indonesian wobbegong, Japanese wobbegong, tasseled wobbegong, cobbler wobbegong, northern wobbegong and western wobbegong.
The largest specie is the spotted wobbegong which can amazingly grow over 3 meters (10 feet) long or with a normal range of 1.8 meters to 2.4 meters (6 to 8 feet) long. Then, the smallest is the floral banded wobbegong reaching only 0.8 meters (2.5 feet) in length.
Wobbegong sharks are lazy
Wobbegong sharks are nocturnal, they are seen sleeping during the day while hunting for food at night. This is due to their poor eyesight and mostly relying into their barbels in sensing the environment. When they hunt, they are still barely moving and when they do, they remain sluggish.
Moreover, wobbegong sharks do not to keep on moving in order for them to breath similar to the great white shark does. These sharks are well-known being the obligate ram ventilators where they have to ventilate to ram water into their mouths while swimming and then goes out of their gills.
Therefore, they can simply breathe by just taking water within their mouths and pumping it into their gills by means of their cheeks’ strong muscle.
Wobbegong sharks can actually “walk”
During the more active days of, wobbegong sharks are moving across the ocean floor through their bottom fins making them look like walking. Also, they are also seen climbing out of water going from one tide pool to another. They can amazingly survive long trips by juts maintaining their grills wet.
Wobble sharks hunt by means of ambush
Like most of the other sharks, wobbegong sharks are known to be the effective hunters. Yet, they are very lazy they wait for their pray to come closer to them and then make their attacks instead of actively searching for food or chasing after prey.
They use their fleshy lobes and barbels in luring their prey including smaller sharks, lobsters, bottom-dwelling fishes, crabs and octopuses and when these animals came closer enough, they attack them with a quick snap.
Although wobbegong sharks are swimming slowly, they can snap swiftly with just a blink of an eye. They swallow their small prey whole and when their prey are tool large, they hold it within using their strong jaw until they die and then seat them one chunk at a time.
Wobbegong sharks have strong jaws and sharp teeth
Wobbegong shark is characterized with powerful jaw and can open mouth wide in order to swallow prey effortlessly which is big as their size. And, when they bite, they do not release their prey or easily let them go.
Although wobbegong shark teeth are small, these are incredibly sharp and pointed and known in penetrating through the diving suits which can cause painful bites.
Although wobbegong sharks have been already bitten before and none of their population have ended dying, about a total of 28 unprovoked wobbegong attacks were recorded in the past 450 years. And, 4 of these recorded wobbegong shark attacks are being attributed to spotted wobbegong.
Wobbegong shark females give birth to pups
Since wobbegong sharks are sharks belonging to ovoviviparous, this simply means that the young can actually develop in female eggs inside the body of the mother and successfully being nourished by the egg yolk and not by the mother wobbegong shark’s food. After hatching, the young are continuing to be developed inside their mother’s body.
These type of process have a total gestation period of 10 up to 11 months and they will be born as live young called the pups. The young’s litter size may vary according to their species, coming from few as 12 up to many as 53.
And these pups are not able to receive any care from their mother at all, but they are sticking together in order for them to stay safe and secured while hunting for their food on their own.
Some of the wobbegong sharps can serve as pets
There are some people who are quite interested to have a wobbegong shark pet. Wobbegong sharks are quite possible to be kept as pets. Although only the smaller species are ideal to be pets, this requires a tank with similar size to swimming pool.
People have to remember that these sharks are lazy and if they wanted a pet that will swim around, they are not perfect for them. But, the good thing is, they only need to be fed twice a week.
Wobbegong shark are currently not endangered
Out of 12 species of wobbegong sharks, only 4 of them have been assessed by IUNC such as banded wobbegong, spotted wobbegong, tasseled wobbegong and ornate wobbegong. And these species are currently classified as Near Threatened meaning, they still have stable large population.
Although their flesh is quite tasty and commonly used in making fish and chips and their skin are used in making leather, they are still considered not widely hunted and of limited commercial value.
Smallest Shark in the World
For you to understand them more, here is the list of smallest sharks ever lived in the world.
1. Dwarf Lanternshark
Did you know Dwarf Lantershanrk is perhaps the smallest of the seven known species of lantern shark? It measures 8.3 inches and belongs to the family of dogfish. These sharks were discovered around 1964 and can be seen only in the Caribbean Sea.
It resides on a depth of around thousands to 1500 feet close the coast of South America. Because of its small size, they are not the target of fishermen. But, they sometimes end up stuck in fishing nets as results of being accidentally captured.
2. Pale Catshark
The Pale Catshark is an endangered deepwater catshark. This small shark grows 21cm at maturity. The same with the Dwarf Lanternshark, this is a deep sea fish living at 655 m in the Makassar Straits in Indonesia.
Oftentimes, it looks likes a normal catshark because of its reddish-white color. Further, there has ever been single Pale Catshark that is caught, thus very few known about them apart that they are laying pairs of eggs.
3. Panama Ghost Catshark
Being the third smallest sharks on the list, the Panama Ghost Catshark is a small shark that grows 23 cm in length and is only see off the coast of Panama within the Pacific Ocean.
Apart from its oviparous reproduction and size, very few is known about this type of shark. Researchers believe it lives at 915 to 975m deep.
4. Atlantic Ghost Catshark
Also known as the Atlantic Catshark, this tiny shark is the next on the list, which reaches 25 cm in length. It resides in the Eastern Atlantic close the Portuguese island of Madeira.
The same with the Catsharks, researchers estimate that it is a deep water shark as well. It is brown in color and east small bait fish.
5. Green Lantern Shark
In case you didn’t know yet, the Green Lantern Shark is a species of dogfish shark, seen in the western central Atlantic Ocean. This shark normally occurs on the top continental slope below a depth of 1,150 feet.
Reaching 10 inches in length, the Green Lantern Shark has a very slender body along with thin, long tail and conical low dermal denticles on its flanks. These species are dark brown or gray along with ventral black coloration that has light-emitting photophores, which might serve a cryptic social function.
6. Pygmy Shark
This is considered to be the smallest sharks living in the sea today. It’s a cylindrical and tiny shark with big eyes, bulbous snout, and luminous organs underside of its body. The gills of this shark are very tiny and has low lateral keels on the caudal peduncle.
Further, it has a small flaglike dorsal fin that is ¼ of the length of their second dorsal fin. This small shark’s caudal fin is closely symmetrical and shaped like a paddle. At birth, this shark is 6 to 10 cm long. Males mature at 17 to 19 cm while the females mature at 22 to 23 cm. its maximum length is around 27cm.
7. African Lanternshark
The African Lanternshark is the next smallest sharks in the list. This species belongs to the Etmopteridae family found in the eastern Atlantic. Its length is around 30 cm in length in maturity.
Even though it’s a very typical bycatch, less is known about the behavior and biology of the American Lanternshark. Nevertheless, researchers estimate that it utilizes oviviarous reproduction – a mode of reproduction in animals by which embryos that develop in the eggs remain in the body of the mother until they’re ready to hatch.
8. Broadnose Catshark
The broad nose catshark belongs to the family Scyliorhinidae. This is the only specimen and holotype being discovered in deep water in the Indian Ocean and the Andaman Sea. This species of sharks have less information.
However, some researcher believes that its behaviors and physical traits are the same with the Ghost Shark. There’s one specimen, which has been discovered and it was an undeveloped species so it might grow bigger than the estimated size.
9. Spined Pygmy Shark
The Spined Pygmy Shark is the dogfish shark that belongs to the family Dalatiidae seen in most oceans. Growing no bigger than around 28cm, it’s one of the smallest sharks living today, along with its personal best beaten by the dwarf lantern shark.
Apart from that, this smallest shark has a cigar-shaped and slender body with a sizable conical snout but a low second dorsal fin, and nearly symmetrical caudal fin. Normally dwelling nutrient-rich waters over greater continental and insular slopes, this species eats small bony squids and fishes.
10. Granular Dogfish
The Granular dogfish was derived for its grainy skin texture and appearance. This shark reaches 27 cm in length and dwells in the Falkland Islands in the Atlantic Ocean. The Granular dogfish doesn’t have an anal fin.
It has two dorsal spines with the second one bigger than the first, a big second dorsal fin, a small pectoral, a long abdomen and pelvic fins, spiracles, prominent nostrils as well as brownish-black coloration. This has been caught at approximately 450m depth.
11. Smalleye Pygmy Shark
The Small Eye Pygmy Shark is a little-known species of sharks that belong to the family Dalatiidae, seen in water 460 to 6,560 feet deep near the Philippines, Australia, and Japan. It migrates vertically daily and spends the day in deep water in shallower water.
This is known as one of the smallest sharks in the world reaching only 8.7 inches. This shark has a spindle-shaped body, blackfish with relatively small eyes, a spine forgoing the first dorsal fin, but not the second.
12. Lollipop Catshark (Cephalurus cephalus)
This of shark belongs to the family of Scyliorhinidae, a family of deep-sea shark. These are known to live in the upper and bottom continental slopes and associated with different sizes.
If you would observe the sharks, they resemble a tadpole due to the expanded, round and narrow body they have. This kind of sharks have expanded gills that are thought to be by many as a product of hypoxic conditions.
The prey of the shark would be fishes and crustaceans. In the reproduction stage, the female lay two eggs at a time.
13. Longnose Pygmy Shark (Heteroscymnoides marleyi)
One of the smallest sharks you can find. The Pygmy Shark belongs to the genus Heteroscymnoides. If you think about this family, you would think about the 1dog fish family. The scientific name of the shark is associated with the dog family or the so-called Squalidae.
The body of the shark is small and dark brown. These have a dorsal fin and top fin but not have an anal fin. The dorsal fins are slightly lighter on the top fin. In observing this kind of sharks, you notice the crown-shape structure. This pertains to the fin.
14. Combtoot Lanternshark (Etmopterus decacuspidatus)
One of the smallest sharks in the world, This could be found in the area of the South China Sea between the coast of Viet Nam and the Hainan Island. The depth of the shark is between 510 and 690 m. the height of the shark falls to 29 cm.
15. Bristly Catshark (Halaelurus hispidus)
The Bristly Catshark is one of the great family of shark belonging to the family of Scyliorhinidae. A person would want to find and see this type of shark could go to the part of southwestern India and Andaman Islands to witness the excellent beauty and wonder of seeing the shark. It only measures 29 cm.
16. Ornate Dogfish (Centroscyllium ornatum)
If you would ask, what is the smallest shark? One would answer; it could be the ornate dogfish. This type of shark belongs to the genus Centroscylum. The family includes the dogfish fish sharks, the bramble sharks, and the rough sharks.
The ornate dogfish shark has two dorsal, fins and no anal part or the so-called unpaired bottom. The shark has a dorsal fin like most sharks. However, the dorsal fin and the spine are much larger than the rest of the fin found in the body of the shark.
A person would observe the sharks would have noticed the blackish color it has together with the no markings on the tail
17. Dwarf Sawtail Catshark (Galeus schultzi)
One of the few unique and one of smallest shark species you can find in the area of Luzon is the Philippines. The uniqueness it has is born due to the short body and the short snout. It has also short furrows on the corners of its jaws.
It has a darker saddle on the dorsal fin and two dark bands on the caudal fin. The denticles are located in caudal fin margin.
18. Peppered Catshark (Galeus piperatus)
One would think of this the smallest shark for sale. However, you are mistaken. Found in the inner depths of the Gulf of California, the shark could be found near or in the bottom of the ocean floor.
During the winter season, the peppered catshark conducts a seasonal migration to avoid the effects born by the winter climate. Hence, it goes deeper into the ocean.
The length of the shark runs to be about 37 cm (15 in). The dark dots it has is covered by the grayish body appears to add to a more attractive way in looking at the shark. On the part of the dorsal fin, you could find a large crest of its denticles.
19. Longfin Catshark (Apristurus herklotsi)
One of the smallest sharks you could find out there. Other observers have mistaken this kind of shark to be related to the roughtail catshark and the Antilles catshark. Finding this kind of shark would be an easy one. If you are passing the Caribbean coasts of the Panama and the Columbia, you would evidently find and witness the amazing activities of the shark.
The body of the shark is together with a marbled dorsal pattern. Like the smallest shark, it has a crest wherein you can see the deernal denticles. You could also observe the dorsal edge of the dorsal fin. The size of the fin is quite similar to the fins seen or can be found in other sharks. The adult length of the shark measures up to be35 cm. In addition, the shark is termed to be oviparous.
20. Quagga Catshark (Halaelurus quagga)
It might be considered as the smallest shark in the world by some, one could not fail to be amazed at the small and slim body this shark has. The length of the body reaches about 37 cm. The color is distinct, the pattern is narrow and the color of the vertical bars is similar to those of a quagga. If one would ask, what is the smallest shark?
The short head and flattened and pointed snout of the shark would resemble a small shark a person could find.
The history of this shark would provide you a little information. The only information it would provide you is it can be found in the southwestern India and eastern Somalia It forms its habitat from the continental waters in a large depth.
It is a known to be a predator of shrimps. In terms of the reproduction process, the female shark could lay eight eggs. These eggs are enclosed in a capsule marked with long tendrils.
These smallest shark species give a new light to the large variety of sharks. They could be found around the globe and can easily adapt to the environment they live in. it could be the ones you in smallest shark for sale or anything that would capture your delight if you see these tiny little creatures of the deep blue sea.