101 Facts… Sharks! … the WebBook

Great white shark by Elias Levy, (CC BY 2.0)


101 Facts… SHARKS! by IP Factly

Sharks have been swimming the oceans for about four hundred million years.

Fossil of Orthacanthus, a freshwater shark that went extinct about 225 million years ago.

Sharks were on Earth about two hundred million years before the dinosaurs began lumbering around the planet.

Like the dinosaurs, the largest shark to have ever lived is now extinct. It was called the megalodon, and was over three times the size of a great white shark!

Size comparison of Carcharodon carcharias (great white shark in green), Rhincodon typus (whale shark in purple) and conservative/maximum estimates of Carcharodon megalodon (megalodon in red and gray).

The megalodon is believed to have been one of the largest predators in history. It lived 28 to 1.5 million years ago and grew to a size of up to twenty meters (sixty-seven feet)–over fifty percent bigger than the largest whale shark alive today.

Mock-up of Megalodon jaws at the National Aquarium, Napier, New Zealand.

The megalodon’s teeth were huge. The measurement of a tooth on the slanted side was the length of a small ruler–six inches (fifteen cm.).

Tooth of megalodon (Carcharocles Megalodon) with hands and ruler for scale.

For thousands of years, people believed the huge shark teeth they found came from dragons or giant serpents.

Sharks have been on earth one thousand times longer than humans.

Modern sharks began appearing on Earth about one hundred million years ago.

Megalodon tooth, two great white teeth and a US quarter (2.3cm wide).

The oldest great white shark teeth that have been found date from sixty to sixty-five million years ago.

Sharks are a large and varied species of fish, with over four hundred and seventy members.

Parts of a shark.

Like other fish, sharks have gills to breathe. The gills enable them to take oxygen out of the water. Unlike most fish, the gill slits are uncovered. They can be seen just behind the head.

Shark fins are designed to keep them moving forward. They can’t deliberately move backwards using their fins, they can only drift backwards.

Blue Shark with uncovered gills.

Without the water flowing over their gills, sharks cannot get enough oxygen and will die.

Some species of sharks, like the great white, must keep moving forward to constantly push water into their mouths and over their gills. This is called ram ventilation.

Those sharks that have to use ram ventilation to breathe either don’t have or have only a very small spiracle. A spiracle is a body part that lies just behind the eye and is used to pump water over the gills.

An adult zebra shark with a large spiracle behind its eye (zebra sharks spend many hours quietly lying on the seabed.)

A larger spiracle allows the bottom dwelling sharks, such as the angel shark and the wobbegong, to stay still while they wait for prey to gobble up.

Unlike most animals, the shark’s skeleton is made from cartilage rather than bone. Cartilage in humans is found in the joints between bones. It isn’t as hard as bone, but is more flexible and much lighter, enabling sharks to swim faster.

Kitefin shark skeleton in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

In water, cartilage works very well, but it is not be strong enough to support the weight of most sharks on land.

Dermal denticles visible on a swell shark, San Clemente Island, California.

Dermal denticles cover the skin of sharks and are similar to scales in fish. Denticles are actually a kind of tooth that grows facing backward, and gives the shark protection against other creatures.

Unlike most animals, a shark’s teeth aren’t fixed to the jaw. They are embedded in the gum and constantly replaced as the shark loses teeth. Sharks have rows of teeth that move forward to replace any that are lost. Some shark species can go through more than thirty thousand teeth in a lifetime.

Teeth embedded in gum.

Great white shark during scavenging forays on whale carcasses in False Bay, South Africa.

Usually, just one tooth at a time is replaced, but some species, such as the cookiecutter shark, replace a whole line of teeth in one go. The cookiecutter swallows its old teeth so it doesn’t waste the calcium.

Most sharks are cold blooded – they take on the temperature of the surrounding water.

Some of the speedier sharks, such as the shortfin mako, great white, and thresher shark warm up the blood using a muscle near the center of their body. The warmed-up blood then flows throughout the body, heating it up. This enables them to swim a lot faster than their cold blooded cousins.

A great white shark can detect a single drop of blood in twenty-five million drops of sea water.

All sharks are effectively color blind–they see using shades of light and dark. This difference in contrast is believed to be a better method for detecting objects under the water. That is why, sometimes, shark attacks include stories of brightly colored swimsuits or reflective jewelry.

The whitetip reef shark with constricted pupils.

Like us, sharks are able to dilate and constrict their pupils, making their eyes larger or smaller to help their vision in bright or dark conditions.

Blacknose sharks have nictitating membranes to cover their eyes.

Sharks don’t need to blink to clean their eyes, as water constantly washes over them, but most sharks do have eyelids. The shark’s eyelids are there to protect the eyes when they are attacking or being attacked, and are called nictitating membranes.

Some species, such as the great white, don’t have nictitating membranes to protect their eyes, and simply roll their eyeballs back in the head to avoid damage.

Oceanic whitetip shark with accompanying pilot fish.

As with other fish, sharks have a sense organ known as the lateral line. This is a line of cells down the length of the shark’s body that is sensitive to movement in water. It gives them a sense of the space around them and enables the shark to feel any motion caused by nearby fish.

Sharks can detect electro-magnetic fields. All living things produce these fields. Sharks that have evolved this sense far enough are able to detect prey, even when it hides under the seabed in sand or mud. The organs that detect the electro-magnetic field are called the ampullae of Lorenzini.

Ampullae of Lorenzini pores on the snout of a tiger shark.

The ampullae are pores in the shark’s skin that lead down a thin tube to a slightly wider end. They are filled with a jelly-like material. The ampullae are electroreceptors, meaning they can detect changes in electro-magnetic fields.

Up until the 17th century, sharks used to be called sea dogs.

Male sharks can get a bit bitey when mating – they hold on to the females with their teeth. It is for this reason that female sharks have thicker skin than males.

Baby blacktip reef sharks in shallow water at Angsana Velavaru, Maldives.

Shark babies are called pups. Most sharks have just a few pups at once, but some lay eggs and can have up to one hundred pups at a time.

After they hatch or are born, sharks are left to fend for themselves. Young sharks have to teach themselves what to eat and how to attack.

There are just three main methods of having young. The methods have been given the fun names of ovoviviparous, oviparous, and viviparous.

Oviparous sharks (pronounced: o-vip-a–russ) are those born from eggs. These include the Port Jackson shark and the catshark.

A mermaid’s purse or shark egg case – the hand shows how big they can be.

Empty egg cases often wash up on beaches and are called mermaid’s or devil’s purses.

Viviparous sharks (pronounced: vi-vip-a-russ) grow like mammals in their mother and are live births. Sharks born this way include the bull shark and the blue shark. Blue sharks are unusual in that they have a lot of pups in a single litter – up to one hundred!

Most sharks are ovoviviparous (pronounced: o-vo-vi-vip-a-russ). This means the eggs hatch in the mother’s uterus. The young then stay inside her until they are ready to be born.

Frilled sharks are from the hexanchiform order of sharks (pronounced: hex-an-chi-form). They are the oldest kind of sharks that are still alive on the earth today.

A rare example of a stuffed frilled shark on display.

The frilled shark looks and moves like a massive sea snake, and might be one of the reasons ancient sailors believed in giant sea serpents.

Frilled sharks have the longest pregnancy in the animal kingdom, at just over three years.

The spiny dogfish is one of the few sharks to possess venomous spines. Its spines are painful, but not deadly to humans.

Spiny dogfish at the Josephine Marie shipwreck, Stellwagen National Marine Laboratory.

The flesh of a Greenland shark is poisonous. It contains a toxin called trimethylamine oxide that makes the victim appear extremely drunk and unable to stand. It is a delicacy in Iceland and Greenland, where it is prepared by boiling the meat numerous times in fresh water.

The dwarf lanternshark is thought to be the smallest shark in the world, narrowly beating off competition from the spined pygmy shark and the pygmy ribbontail catshark.

Live Dwarf Lanternshark caught in Venezuela.

The cookiecutter shark is small, only reaching about 42–56 cm (17–22 in), but scarily efficient. It cuts out round, deep chunks of flesh from passing sea creatures, such as sharks, whales, dolphins, and seals – it has even had a go at submarines!

Size of a cookiecutter shark shown with a pencil.

The cookiecutter shark latches onto its prey using its lips and tongue. It bites into the animal with its smaller top teeth, and uses its larger bottom teeth to slice into the prey. Finally, the cookiecutter spins around, taking a large, neat chunk of flesh out of their victim.

Japanese angelshark (Squatina japonica).

Angel sharks are squat or flat sharks that look like rays and grow to about 1.5 meters (fifteen feet).They like shallow, warm seas where they hide under the sand, waiting for victims to swim past. They can extend their jaws really wide and move incredibly quickly, catching unsuspecting prey whole in their mouths.

Horn shark off the coast of Santa Catalina, California, USA.

Horn sharks are known for the bumps or horns on top of their head. They have powerful jaws and strong flat teeth to break the shells of the prey they find.

Wobbegongs, whale sharks, and zebra sharks are all carpet sharks. They are named after the way they look – wonderful patterns that wouldn’t look out of place on a carpet in grandma’s front room.

A spotted wobbegong and its growths – off the coast of Sydney, Australia.

Wobbegongs hide among rocks and wait for prey. They have growths that come from their mouths to help with camouflage and to sense any animals passing close by.

It is the growths around their mouths that give the wobbegong shark its name. In Australian aboriginal, wobbegong means “shaggy beard”.

Zebra sharks are sometimes called leopard sharks. This is a bit confusing, as there is a different species of shark which is also called a leopard shark.

Zebra shark off the coast of Thailand.

Zebra sharks got their name because when they are young they have striped skin – like a zebra. However, adult zebra sharks don’t look anything like a zebra. They have no stripes, only small dark spots covering their entire bodies.

The whale shark is the largest fish in the world. The longest measured was twelve meters (forty-one feet), which is as large as a full-sized school bus.

Whale shark taken at Georgia Aquarium.

Whale sharks can live for seventy years; some scientists believe, possibly, up to 100 years.

The name for a large group of sharks is a “shiver”. Leopard sharks, smoothhounds, and spiny dogfish of a similar age and sex often group together in large shivers.

Nurse sharks and leopard sharks both have an unusual method of catching food. They can suck prey into their mouths. Innkeeper worms have been found in sharks’ stomachs with no bites. This is believed to mean that they’ve been sucked out of their burrows.

Nurse sharks, unlike the rest of their carnivore shark cousins, like to supplement their meat diet with algae and coral.

Nurse shark near Manzanillo, Atlantic Coast of Costa Rica.

Nurse sharks don’t just swim, they walk! They use their pectoral fins as “legs” and stroll along the sea floor.

Nurse sharks have a cool trick for catching crabs. They put their fins on the seafloor and use the underside of the bodies to look like the roof of a tiny cove. Lying very still, they pretend to be part of the rocky scenery until a crab arrives to hide in their little cove for a while. Why bother chasing after food when it can come to you?

Lemon sharks are named for the color of their skin, which is light yellow to gray. The skin helps them blend in with the sandy seafloor in the warm tropical waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

Lemon shark.

One of the most studied populations of shark species, the lemon sharks off the Bimini Islands in the Bahamas, is disappearing. This is because the mangroves that they used as nurseries for their young were destroyed in 2007 to make way for a golf course!

The economic benefits to a country protecting the sharks in its waters are huge. It is estimated that $6 million are spent every year in the Bahamas by tourists watching sharks. A single living Caribbean reef shark is thought to be worth $13,000 to $40,000, compared to less than just $100 dead.

Caribbean reef shark.

Caribbean reef sharks are large sharks at 3m (10 ft). However, their normal nature is to ignore or shy away from any divers close to them. This behavior can change suddenly when food is nearby, and is shown by them moving into threat mode. This involves zigzagging in quick jagged movements toward and around the perceived threat.

The swellshark got its name from its habit of sucking in water when threatened. This makes it appear much larger than it really is; in fact, it can become up to twice its original size. If the shark is brought to the surface and sucks in air instead of water, the air it releases makes a sound like a barking dog.


Tiger sharks are named for the stripes on their bodies. The stripes are more pronounced when the shark is young, however, and unlike the zebra shark, the stripes don’t disappear completely.

Tiger shark.

Tiger sharks are the second most likely shark to attack humans. However, despite them living and feeding in areas where humans like to play in the water, they don’t target us as prey. As with other sharks, test bites and accidental attacks caused by mistaken identity are the usual reasons for tiger shark attacks on humans.

Bull sharks are big, strong, and stocky, with an aggressive attitude toward anything coming into their territory. They don’t target humans, but swim in similar areas to humans, and may try to force other animals (including humans) out of their area by chasing, bumping, and nipping at the intruders. Unfortunately, a human’s thin skin means a nip from a bull shark can be a very serious injury.

Bull shark.

Bullsharks live in saltwater, but can also survive in fresh water. They are known to travel many miles up rivers. Bull sharks regularly travel up and down the Brisbane River in Australia. They were even seen in the streets of Brisbane when it flooded in early 2011!

Oceanic whitetips are solitary animals and like the open ocean. They will follow a likely food source determinedly, and are known to follow dolphins to feed on their leftovers. They commonly follow ships in a similar way – hoping and waiting for scraps.

Oceanic whitetip shark and accompanying pilot fish.

The oceanic whitetip is believed to be the shark mainly responsible for the shark attacks at the infamous ship sinkings off Nova Scotia in 1942 and the USS Indianapolis in 1945. In fact, the oceanic whitetip is thought to be the main culprit in many of the shark attacks following ship wrecks. As the survivors cling to bits of wreckage, the weakest, or those that lose consciousness, get picked off by the whitetips.

There is some debate over why the hammerhead shark evolved such a crazy-looking head, but it seems to have helped two senses in particular.

Hammerhead shark

First is sight – the position of the eyes on either end of the head means it can see above and below at all times.

Second, the shark’s electrical sensors, the ampullae of Lorenzini, are spread out across its face, making it particularly sensitive to the electricity in the bodies of other animals. A hammerhead’s favorite prey is the stingray. They are found by the hammerheads despite the stingray’s hobby of hiding under the sand of the ocean floor.

Goblin sharks are extremely rare, deep water sharks, which were only discovered in 1897 by Japanese fishermen. Their name derives from their ugly looking head and snout.

The hideous head of a goblin shark (Mitsukurina owstoni) with jaws extended.

When goblin sharks find their prey, they extend jaws from out of their long snout and grab the victim, holding on with sharp teeth. The lengthy snout is an important part of a goblin shark’s weaponry. There is plenty of room for lots of ampullae of Lorenzini to find prey in the darkness of the deep.

Whale sharks, basking sharks, and megamouth sharks are filter feeders. They use a method called ram filtration; they swim forward, ramming the water into their mouths. The water is filtered out, leaving only the good bits to eat. They feed mostly on plankton, but whale sharks have recently been seen eating shoals of small fish.

The basking shark is the second largest fish, and the second largest shark, in the world – second each time to the whale shark.

A basking shark with on-looking divers.

The basking shark was believed to “bask” in the sun near the surface of the sea – merely catching a few rays and enjoying the day! However, we now know the basking shark is actually busy fishing, not basking.

It’s a filter feeder, like the whale shark, and spends the summer catching plankton in its huge mouth. During the winter basking sharks follow the plankton down to the depths of the ocean – nearly one thousand meters deep.

The megamouth shark is a very rare filter-feeding shark that also enjoys the deeper seas. It was first captured on November 15, 1976, and as of 2012, only fifty-four specimens had ever been captured.

Rare head of a Megamouth shark. This specimen is preserved in a tank at the Western Australian Maritime Musem.

Like its name suggests, the megamouth shark has a huge mouth that it uses to filter feed like whale and basking sharks. The megamouth hasn’t just got a mega-big mouth, but a mega-twinkling mouth. Its mouth is surrounded by luminous photophores to lure in the little creatures of the deep, dark ocean.

Photophores are light-emitting organs that are commonly found on deep sea fish to help them catch prey or avoid predators.

The common thresher is the largest of the three thresher sharks (common, bigeye, pelagic); it can reach a size of up to six meters (twenty feet).

Common thresher shark.

Despite its size and speed the common thresher isn’t a danger to humans, as the thresher is adapted to prey on little fish, like herring or mackerel. Its teeth are simply too small to eat large prey.

Threshers are known for their huge tail. The shark uses its tail to thresh, or thrash, the water as it swims around schools of small fish. It scares the fish and they swim closer and closer to each other for safety. This forms a “bait ball” that the threshers slap with their tails, killing or stunning the fish.

Sand tiger sharks are ovoviviparous. The female has eggs in her uterus that hatch and then the embryo (or unborn pup) grows within the uterus and is born when big enough. In the sand tiger’s case, the first embryo to hatch eats its egg, then eats the eggs of any newly hatched embryos, and then eats the other embryos, too!

They eat their own brothers and sisters in the womb! This is known as intrauterine cannibalism, and is very rare in the animal kingdom.

Vicious looking sand tiger shark at the Newport Aquarium.

The technical term for egg eating is oophagy (pronounced: oh-off-a-jee). Embryos that hatch in their mother and then eat their egg are common in all the lamniform sharks; including the common thresher, the basking shark, the great white, mako, goblin shark, and the megamouth shark. However, it is only the sand tiger shark that goes past merely egg eating – to brother and sister eating!

The shortfin mako shark is the best known of the makos, and can grow up to four meters (fourteen feet) in length. They are famous for being the fastest shark in the world. They can, in short bursts, achieve speeds of up to forty-six mph!

Shortfin mako shark.

Shortfin makos are also well-known for their majestic leaps out of the water – they can leap up to nine meters (nearly thirty feet) in the air. Like the thresher and the great white, their incredible speed and leaping ability is possible because of the strip of red muscle that warms up their blood.

The great white shark has a few nicknames, including great white, white pointer, and white shark, but arguably its most fearsome is ”white death!”

The great white shark is most famous, or notorious, for being number one on the shark attack list. It’s the shark most likely to attack humans!

Great white shark at Isla Guadalupe, Mexico, August 2006.

Despite its status as the shark most likely to attack humans, deaths are incredibly rare, with only thirty fatal attacks since 1990.

The great white is a large shark and can reach lengths of up to six meters (twenty feet). That is double the height of a basketball hoop.

The great white’s preferred menu includes tuna, rays, dolphins, seals, and sea lions. They normally attack in poor light using an ambush method. This involves striking from behind or below and biting to disable its prey.

Great white shark at Gansbaai, South Africa 2003.

This ambush method will occasionally mean they attack the wrong prey. People on surfboards, because they look like seals or turtles from below, are particularly vulnerable.

Great whites are nearly always the apex, or top, predator in their environment. However, occasionally, they can become prey themselves. Killer whales, sometimes known as orcas, are at least twice as big as great whites, and have been spotted killing and eating them.

Predators of some of the smaller shark species include giant octopuses, crocodiles, seals, and other sharks.

However, the main shark predators are humans. An estimated seventy-three million sharks are killed each year, many as a result of finning. Sharks are captured by fishermen, their fins are cut off, and then they are dumped back into the sea where they die. Shark fin soup is a traditional eastern delicacy that makes shark fins extremely valuable.

Shark fin soup.

In 1969, a movie titled ‘Shark!’ became infamous when one of the sharks, believed to be sedated, attacked and killed a stuntman.

However, it was ”Jaws” the movie that began the worldwide fear of sharks. It was the highest grossing movie of all time when it was released in 1975. It was also the film that began the “summer blockbuster” movie model – big budget movies with massive advertising.

An extreme fear of sharks is called galeophobia. ”Phobia” means fear in Greek and ”galeos” was a family of sharks now known as weasel sharks.

“Jaws” was based on a real life event off the New Jersey coastline. Four people died and one person was injured in shark attacks within a space of just two weeks in July 1916.

The Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper, 1919.

Two people were killed at the same location and within minutes of each other at Matawan Creek during the 1916 Jersey shark attacks. The second victim was searching for the body of a boy pulled underwater in the first attack when he was also taken. A third person was attacked by a shark further up the coastline, only a matter of hours later – this time, the victim survived after friends managed to pull him from the shark’s mouth.

Great white shark. Taken from cage diving boat in Gansbaai, Hermanus near Cape Town South Africa.

In the movie “Jaws,” the shark was a huge great white shark; however, the shark in the New Jersey attacks may have been more than one shark and may even have been a bull shark. The Matawan Creek attacks occurred in a creek fifteen miles (twenty-five km) from the ocean, which points to a shark known to swim up rivers – the bull shark.

The three sharks responsible for the most attacks on humans are the great white, tiger, and bull sharks. Their size, aggression, and preference for hunting near shorelines make them the most dangerous. The oceanic whitetip also has a high human attack figure, but this is based mostly on large shipwreck events.

Despite our love of water and all the time we spend in the ocean, during 2012 only one fatal shark attack was reported in the United States.

Figures show you are much, much, more likely to be bitten by another human being than by a shark!

Video Page

You can see these sharks in action by following the shark links…

Angel Sharks

Basking Sharks

Blue Sharks

Bull Sharks

Cookiecutter Sharks

Frilled Sharks

Goblin Sharks

Great White Sharks

Hammerhead Sharks

Horn Sharks


Lemon Sharks

Leopard Sharks

Mako Sharks

Megalodon Sharks

Megamouth Sharks

Nurse Sharks

Oceanic Whitetip Sharks

Reef Sharks

Sand Tiger Sharks

Shark Senses

Sharks and Humans

Spiny Dogfish

Thresher Sharks

Tiger Sharks

Whale Sharks


Zebra Sharks

Photo Credits


Blacktip reef shark at Sea World on Australia’s Gold Coast.

Allan Lee – StormyDog cc2.0



Fossil of Orthacanthus, a freshwater shark that went extinct about 225 million years ago.

Author: Ghedoghedo cc3.0


Size comparison of Carcharodon carcharias (Great White Shark, 5.2m), Rhincodon typus (Whale Shark, 9.7m) and conservative/maximum estimates of the largest known adult size of Carcharodon megalodon (16-20m), with a human Homo sapiens (1.8m).

Author: Scarlet23 cc3.0


Mock-up of Megalodon jaws at the National Aquarium, Napier, New Zealand.

Author: Jasper33


Tooth of megalodon (Carcharocles megalodon) with hands and ruler for scale.

Author: Lonfat


Megalodon tooth with two great white shark teeth and a US 25 cent coin (23 mm in width) as a scale object.

Author: Brocken Inaglory CC3.0 https://sites.google.com/site/thebrockeninglory/


Parts of a shark

Author: Chris_huh


Blue Shark with uncovered gills.

Author: Mark Conlin, SWFSC Large Pelagics Program http://swfsc.noaa.gov/ImageGallery/Default.aspx?moid=530


An adult zebra shark with a large spiracle behind its eye.

Author: Jean-Lou Justine CC3.0


Kitefin shark skeleton in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

Author: Ryan Somma CC2.0

Kitefin Shark


Dermal denticles – swell Shark closeup, San Clemente Island, California.

Author: Clark Anderson/Aquaimages CC2.5


Teeth embedded in gum. Great white shark during scavenging forays on whale carcasses in False Bay, South Africa.

Author: Fallows C, Gallagher AJ, Hammerschlag N (2013) CC2.5



The whitetip reef shark

Author: NOAA



Blacknose sharks have nictitating membranes to cover their eyes.

Author: Apex Predators Program, NOAA/NEFSC



Oceanic whitetip shark with accompanying pilot fish.

Author: Peterkoelbl Contrast: Citron CC2.5



Ampullae of Lorenzini pores on snout of tiger shark.

Author: Albert kok CC3.0


Baby blacktip reef sharks (Carcharhinus melanopterus) in shallow water by the beach at Angsana Velavaru, Maldives.

Author: Timo Newton-Syms CC2.0

Baby Sharks



Mermaid’s purse

Author: Chris Gaun CC2.0



Frilled shark

Author: OpenCage CC2.5



Spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias) at the Josephine Marie shipwreck, Stellwagen National Marine Laboratory

Author: Doug Costa, NOAA/SBNMS



Live Dwarf Lanternshark caught in Venezuela.

Author: avontaevious CC3.0


Cookiecutter shark (Isistius brasiliensis)

Author: NOAA Observer Project http://www.fpir.noaa.gov/Graphics/OBS/obs_sharks/obs_cookie_cutter_sharks/obs_cookie_cutter_shark3.jpg


Japanese angelshark (Squatina japonica)

Author: RYO SATO CC2.0



Horn shark (Heterodontus francisci) off Santa Catalina, California, USA.

Author: Ed Bierman CC2.0


Spotted wobbegong (Orectolobus maculatus) off the coast of Sydney, Australia.

Author: Taso Viglas CC2.0



Zebra shark (Stegostoma fasciatum) off the coast of Thailand.

Author: Sigmund CC2.0

Leopard shark


Whale shark taken at Georgia Aquarium.

Author: ZacWolf CC2.5


Nurse shark near Manzanillo, Atlantic Coast of Costa Rica.

Author: Peppe Cirotti CC3.0


Lemon shark.

Author: Albert Kok CC3.0


Caribbean reef shark.

Author: Albert Kok CC3.0


Swellshark (Cephaloscyllium ventriosum)

Author: Rennett Stowe CC2.0

shark and fish


Tiger shark

Author: Albert Kok CC3.0


Bull shark

Author: Albert Kok CC3.0


Oceanic whitetip shark at Daedalus Reef, Red Sea, Egypt. October 2009.

Author: Cvf-ps CC1.2


Hammerhead shark

Author: suneko CC2.0

Hammerhead shark


Head of a goblin shark (Mitsukurina owstoni) with jaws extended.

Author: Dianne Bray / Museum Victoria CC3.0



Basking shark

Author: Chris Gotschalk


The head of a Megamouth shark. This specimen is preserved in a tank at the Western Australian Maritime Musem.

Author: Saberwyn CC3.0


Common thresher shark

Author: NOAA SWFSC, Walter Heim



Sand tiger shark (Carcharias taurus) at the Newport Aquarium.

Author: Jeff Kubina CC2.0



Shortfin mako shark

Author: Mark Conlin, SWFSC Large Pelagics Program



Great white shark at Isla Guadalupe, Mexico, August 2006.

Author: Pterantula (Terry Goss) CC2.5


Great white shark at Gansbaai, SOuth Africa 2003.

Author: bellamy.andrew CC2.0



Shark fin soup

Author: Chensiyuan CC3.0


The Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper, 1919.


Great white shark. Taken from cage diving boat in Gansbaai, Hermanus near Cape Town South Africa.

Author: Hein waschefort CC3.0