My main reason for liking all of these sharks is that I think they are awesome. However, what separates cute leopard sharks or frilly carpet sharks from my top 5 is that these sharks all have something that makes them special to me in particular.
With Number 1 being my favorite, here are a few fun facts about my top 5 favorite sharks.
5. Thresher Shark (Alopias Vulpinus)
- They use their long tails to stun prey long enough to catch it
- They reach maturity between 8-13 years old
- Are common bycatch of longline fishing due to their dispersed populations
- Top 5 Reasoning: One of the first sharks I learned about when I learned there were over 400 different species of sharks.
4. Sandbar Shark (Carcharhinus plumbeus)
- Have a distinctively long first dorsal fin
- Range in color from blur-grey to brown-bronze
- They are Opportunistic feeders and have a diverse diet
- Top 5 Reasoning: I free dove with several dozen sandbar sharks in Hawaii and I will forever find them breathtaking (and cute)!
3. Scalloped Hammerhead Shark (Sphyrna lewini)
- Mostly found in moderate and tropical climates
- The scallop is indicated by indentations in the hammerhead cephalofoil (extended head)
- Eat mostly cephalopods, crustaceans, teleosts, and rays
- Top 5 Reasoning: I love that they swim in schools!
2. Great White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias)
- The largest predatory fish in our oceans
- Inspired an area of Northern California (around San Francisco) to be called the Red Triangle due to peak activity in October
- Often hunt in surprise attacks mostly shooting from beneath prey and launching out of the water
- Top 5 Reasoning: I grew up near the Red Triangle always hoping to see a Great White.
1. Greenland Shark (Somniosus microcephalus)
- Longest living vertebrates: suspected to be able to live to 400 years old
- Dwell deep in the ocean and are the only true subarctic shark
- Often blinded by parasitic copepods that attach to their eyes
- Top 5 Reasoning: The first shark jaw, hide, and meat I had ever seen in person (at the Bjarnarhöfn Shark Museum in Iceland). It stuck with me and I have felt a connection with them ever since.
(Linked for easy access further reading)
- The Encyclopedia of Sharks
- Thresher Sharks: Discovery, National Geographic
- Sandbar Sharks: Marine Bio, One Ocean Diving
- Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks: NOAA, Monterey Bay Aquarium
- Great White Sharks: Monterey Bay Aquarium, Shark Stewards (Red Triangle)
- Greenland Sharks: BBC, Discovery, GEERG