5 Different Types of Sharks and What Makes Each So Special
Dating to over 300 million years ago, sharks are a prehistoric creature that are still a critical part of marine ecosystems today. While they have gotten a bad rap over time, for the most part, they are not threatening to humans. In reality, we are a much greater threat to them.
Human interactions with sharks have led to the deaths of approximately 100 million sharks each year, which has caused a dramatic decline in many shark populations. Caught as bycatch, captured for finning, and affected by commercial boat noise, pollution, and climate change, sharks are constantly under attack. It’s up to us to make a change and to show that we care.
We can’t list all the types of sharks here, but we can share a little about some of them and what makes them so special.
Bottom dwelling nurse sharks are non-aggressive and the slowest sharks in the sea, making them a beloved variety that are typically harmless to humans. They feed primarily on sea urchins, fish, shrimp, squid, and conchs and rest frequently on the ocean floor. They can be social, however, they can’t make verbal sounds (nor can any shark). Instead, they communicate through movement, sensing the vibrations of other nurse sharks to communicate.
There are tigers in both the jungle and the sea. The tiger shark was named as such because it has tiger-like stripes covering its body while it’s young. While the stripes eventually fade, this is still a large predatory shark that can reach around 18 feet. They primarily reside in tropical and subtropical areas and eat everything -- literally everything! They are like a garbage disposal at sea, scavenging on dead animals, fish, and sea creatures.
Great White Shark
Perhaps the most notorious shark because of the movie Jaws, the Great White is the largest predatory shark in the ocean. At full size, they measure around twenty feet and weigh over 6,000 pounds. They are warm blooded, unlike many sharks, which allows them to live in cold and warm water. They feed primarily on sea lions and seals and most terrifyingly, can detect a drop of blood from up to three miles away. Fortunately, human attacks by Great Whites are very rare.
Hammerheads are one of the coolest looking sharks in the sea. With a uniquely shaped head that resembles a hammer, they can actually see in 360 degrees. There are many different species of hammerheads worldwide, including the mallethead, winghead, great hammerhead, scalloped hammerhead, and scoophead sharks. They use their heads to trap their prey, preferably stingrays.
With a long, saw-like snout, saw sharks also have a really unique look. There are nine species of this type of shark, all with a characteristic snout which is ridged with sharp teeth that they use to strike prey. Saw sharks are relatively small, measuring up to around 4.5 feet long at full size. While they look a bit menacing, they are not harmful to humans.
Track a Shark at Sea with a Fahlo Bracelet
We’ve only listed a few types of sharks, but you can already see how cool these sea creatures can be. If you’re wondering how many types of sharks there are, there are around 440 different species around the world. Want to help one of these sharks while also learning more about them? Fahlo introduced “The Voyage Bracelet” in partnership with Saving the Blue so that a percentage of proceeds from the sale of each bracelet goes to protecting sharks.
Each bracelet, which is made with natural stone beads and features a shark charm at the center, comes with tracking information so that you can track your shark in real time. You’ll be able to read your shark’s name, their history, and fun facts about them while also following their journey. The more you learn, the greater awareness you’ll have and the better you’ll be able to help.