Types of Shark

photo showing a great white shark

Welcome to the Shark Library

If you are looking for information about sharks, then you have come to the best place.  There are around 450 different kinds of sharks that live in our world, and hundreds of shark species have been and gone throughout the years.  We have listed all the names of the sharks in alphabetical order and do hope that you find all our information fascinating and useful. 

Great White

photo showing a great white shark popping out of the water

This is possibly the most well-known shark in the entire world, and it is the one that is feared the most.  This spectacular beast can grow up to around 10 inches every year until it grows fully.  A Great White can vary length wise – ranging from around 12 to 14 feet during adulthood.  Even though there are plenty of exaggerated pictures that show Great Whites feeding off humans, they are capable of surviving without eating for up to three months. 

A Great White Hunts Seals

This video by National Geographic shows a Great White on the hunt for seals in South Africa. A typical seal will only satisfy a Great White's hunger for a few days. The Great White is the only shark that occasionally spies on their prey by popping their head out of the water to sneak a peak at potential prey on nearby coastal rocks.

Learn more about Great White Sharks

Greenland

The Greenland is certainly big in size and prefers to dwell in freezing cold waters.  Even though it is enormous, it grows rather slowly.  In fact, certain greenlands have been known to just grow by 1cm every year.  Greenlands move extremely slowly, which is a fascinating fact, especially as they prefer to eat other fish that move incredibly fast.  

The Basking Shark (Cetorhinus maximus)

This shark is the second biggest fish that exists in the world.  It can grow to more than 35 feet in length.  Even though, the size of the basking shark is extraordinarily large, it simply survives off plankton.  It is the type of shark that can survive in both cold and warm temperatures. 

Blacktip (Carcharhinus Limbatus)

This shark is an exceptional predator and has some startling unique characteristics.  Blacktips belong to the requiem family.  The Blacktip has been given this name because it has a dorsal fin that is higher and is a lot more pointed compared to all its other fins. A blacktip is approximately 9.5 feet height wise and weighs about 130 kg as an adult.

Blacktip Reef

photo showing black tip reef shark

This is the smallest shark that you will see; however, it can move as fast as lightening.  It grows to around 5 or 6 feet long, and it just weighs approximately 20 kilograms.  This particular shark actually likes to be in lukewarm temperatures and shallower waters, especially close to coral reef and sandy beaches.

Blue Shark

The Blue Shark is referred to as Prionace Glauca by Scientists and it is easy to recognise.  This is because it is incredibly slender and has a figure that is the shape of a torpedo.  The Blue shark swims gracefully and looks beautiful when it glides through the water.  This creature will grow up to around 10feet length wise and weighs a gigantic 450 pounds. 

Bronze Whaler (Carcharhinus brachyurus)

A Bronze Whaler shark has a few nicknames like bronzys, narrowtooth, bronze and copper shark.  It lives in subtropical temperatures and feeds on other tinnier sharks, bony fish as well as rays.  Sadly, it is a primary target for sports and commercial fishing.  This shark is capable of growing to 11 feet in length.

Bull Shark (Carcharhinus Leucas)

The Bull shark can be found in all the places that you don’t expect it to be.  It has a solid body and a flat, broad snout.  This creature is exceedingly well-known all over the world, and it has various names according to its location: Nicaragua shark, Grange River Shark or Zambezi.  A Bull Shark is around 11 feet long and weighs approximately 300 kg.  Females are bigger than males and tend to live a lot longer. 

Caribbean Reef (Carcharhinus Perezi)

The Caribbean Reef is mostly identified as a reef shark and is 3 meters long and weighs around 50 to 70 kg.  This type of shark is very much like the Gray reef shark, and you will find it in the Indo-Pacific Ocean only.  It can quite easily be confused with a few other sharks such as Sandbar, Silky, Blacktip or Galapagos. 

Frilled Shark

This creature hasn’t changed that much since primeval times and it closely resembles an eel.  Nevertheless, it is a cousin of the Hammerhead and Great White because it has sixgill slits.  The frilled shark has a few nicknames like Living Fossil, Loch Ness Monster and Sea Serpent.  You will find it in Australia, Chile, West Africa, Caribbean, South East Asia and New Zealand. 

Learn more about Frilled Sharks

Goblin

You will find this shark in the Indian (Westside), Pacific (Western) as well as the Atlantic Oceans (East).  The goblin is hardly ever seen because it lives all the way down at the bottom of the sea – as far down as 3,940 feet.  For this reason, we don’t know that much about this particular species. 

Gray Reef (Carcharhinus Amblyrhynchos)

The Gray Reef has a few other names too – Short Nose, Bronze Whaler Shark, or Carcharhinus Amblyrhynchos.  It is a gorgeous average sized shark, and you can differentiate it from all other sharks because it has a white tip on its dorsal fin, whilst all its additional fins have a dark coloured tip.  This shark grows to about 8 feet and weighs 35 kg.

Great Hammerhead

This is the biggest from all the other hammerheads.  It has a T-shaped head that is flat, which makes it stand out from all the other sharks.  It is capable of growing to 20 feet and weighs around 1,000lbs.  This fish is gigantic, and it has certain unique characteristics as well as hunting techniques. 

Megaladon: The Biggest Shark That Ever Existed

Megaladon Giant Shark

The biggest shark to ever exist Megaladon was a prehistoric shark known to feed on whales. This shark is one of the most powerful predators in history and the biggest predatory marine creature that ever lived on earth. Scientists believe that Megaladon was a chunkier version of the great white and reached a maximum length of 14 - 18 metres. His teeth alone were about 7 inches in length more than twice the size of the Great White shark's teeth. Learn more about the Giant Megaladon Shark.

Hammerheads (Cephalofil)

If you take just one glimpse at this outstanding creature, you will understand where it gets its name from.  We know about nine diverse species of these sharks at present: Smooth Hammerhead, Scalloped Bonnethead, Scalloped Hammerhead, Scoophead, Smalleye Hammerhead, Great Hammerhead, Winghead andWhitefin.

Learn more on Hammerhead Sharks

Leafscale Gulper

We do not know that much about this shark at the moment.  The only thing that is known about a Leafscale Gulper is that it prefers to reside in unusually deep and cold seas.  We are also aware that Leafscales are declining at an extraordinarily fast rate.  A Leafscale is a small shark in comparison to other sharks and only grows to around 5 feet.

Lemon Sharks (Negaprion Brevirostris)

This shark is the most researched from all the sharks out there.  A Lemon shark can handle being in captivity for lengthy time periods, unlike all other sharks.  This is the reason why researchers have been able to watch how it behaves for many years.  A Lemon Shark is typically around 11 feet lengthwise and weighs around 190 kg.  It has an odd coloured pigmentation that is a combination of brown and bright yellow.  

Leopard (Triakis semifasciata)

photo showing a leopard shark

This shark can be identified very easily because it has dark spots that are like leopards.  Nonetheless, there have only been a few sightings of the albino leopard shark.  A leopard shark likes to stay in warmer waters and eats bonyfish, small sharks, squid, ray and crustaceans. This shark grows to about 5 feet and weighs no more than 40lbs.

Mako (Isurus)

This is an extraordinary creature that moves incredibly fast.  These days, you will just see two species of Mako left - Shortfin Makos and Longfin Makos.   The Longfin is the biggest and is around 14ft long, and an adult weighs about 170kg.  Shortfin sharks are typically half this weight and size.

Megalodon Shark (Carcharodon megalodon)

This shark no longer exists.  It lived on the planet earth approximately 15 to 70 million years earlier and was the leading ocean predator.  Its size was overwhelming, and scientists are not sure about the exact measurements, although we are aware of the fact that it used to be around 40 to 60 feet long – that’s huge!

Nurse Shark (Ginglymostoma Cirratum)

photo showing grey nurse shark

The name of this shark has a Greek origin.  It might derive from the odd sucking noises that it generates when it hunts for their prey inside the sands.  This shark, like all others, is fascinating and incredibly vital to the fragile maritime ecosystem, particularly close to delicate coral reef.  A Nurse Shark is a fairly large creature; an adult is approximately 15 feet and weighs about 150kg.

Pacific Sleeper

You will find this creature swimming in water temperatures that range from warm to cool.  Moreover, they prefer to reside in medium to extremely deep waters.  This is a fairly large creature, and when it grows fully, it can vary between 12 to 14 feet.  A pacific sleeper eats crabs, snails, octopus and dolphins.

Porbeagle (Lamna nasus)

This shark is often referred to as a Mackerel, a Beaumaris, or a Blue Dog.  It is remarkably big in size and its colour varies between grey to dark blue (on its top side).  It lives in the waters in the Unites States, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina, Chile, Canada and Brazil. 

Learn more about Porbeagles

Reef

The reef plays a hugely vital part within the ecosystem on this planet.  Even though a reef just grows to around 5 to 10 feet length wise, it is a top predator.  Therefore, it is on the very top of the food chain in coral reef surroundings.

Sand (Carcharias Taurus)

Even though this shark looks very scary, it is a truly peaceful and non-violent creature.  It is known as the Sand Tiger Shark or the Sand shark in the UK and the US. A Sand Shark can grow to 10.5 feet long and a fully grown adult weighs approximately 440 lbs.  This shark can only survive for around seven years and mostly spends its entire life in shark aquariums

Scalloped Hammerhead (Sphyrna Lewini)

This shark differs from other kinds of hammerheads because it has a specific type of notch on its head.  It is a large fish and eats lobsters, shrimps, crabs, rays and other sharks.  Some scientists have reported that it also eats sea snakes.

This shark likes to live in deep waters and can be found in continental shelves.  Scalloped Hammerheads tend to hang out in groups and are known to swim in packs of a hundred.  Hammerheads have sensitivity to light and exhibits increased social behaviours, hence it can be spotted close to the shoreline during daylight hours.

Shortfin Mako (Isurus Oxyrinchus)

This is the fastest moving fish inside the ocean and reaches speeds of up to 60mph.  It is a close cousin to the Great White, and it can manage to maintain its body temperatures and manages to stay a lot warmer than the water that surrounds it.    It is a fairly large shark and grows to about 13 feet length wise.

Silky Shark (Carcharhinus Falciformis)

This shark has this name because of its silky and smooth skin texture.  It is known as an Olive, Whaler, Blackspot or Grey Reef Shark as well, depending on where it is located geographically.   This shark has an ultra-sleek and streamlined physique.  It can grow to around 12ft and weighs about 340 kg as an adult. 

Silvertip (Carcharhinus Albimarginatus)

This is a large reef shark creature and is 3 meters in length and weighs 170 kg.  The female is bigger compared to its male counterpart, and this particular creature is a much bigger and huger version of the Gray reef.  However, you can distinguish it really easily because it has white-silver borders on its fins.

Thresher Alopias Vulpinus

The name of this shark arrives from its abnormally big tail – caudal fin – which, in the majority of cases, is bigger than the shark itself.  Nowadays, you will only see three species of these sharks: Bigeye, Common and Pelagic Thresher.

This shark grows quite slowly and can extend to 20 feet or more and weighs around 220 pounds.  

Tiger (Galeocerdo Cuvier)

photo showing a tiger shark

This is a species of the requiem shark, and it has been labelled by the tiger like stripes that you will see on infants only. All these stripes fade away when they get to adulthood.  They are around 2 to 3 meters in length.

Whale Sharks

photo showing a whale shark

This is the biggest fish inside the Ocean.  The whale aspect of its title defines its length, which can be compared to an actual whale itself.  It is a filter feeder, just like an ordinary whale.  It utilises its enormous gills as it swims through the waters and captures vegetation and plankton whilst it glides.

The biggest whale shark ever was 42 feet long and weighed over 48,500 pounds.  It can live for more than 100 years.

Whitetip Reef Shark (Triaenodon Obesus)

This is a frequent shark inside the Indo-Pacific Ocean along with Grey Reefs and Blacktips.  This creature is easy to spot because it has an inquisitive, waving and irregular style of swimming.  Plus, it has a white tip on its dorsal fin.

This is an exceptionally slim creature and grows to approximately 8 feet maximum, and weighs 44 pounds.

Zebra Shark

This is known as the Stegostoma Fasciatum or Leopard shark too and is a genuinely fascinating shark.  Most people will have had the opportunity to see this shark because plenty of aquariums keep them in their captivity.  An adult can grow to around 11.5 feet and weighs about 20 to 30 kg. 

Learn more about all different shark types