My Top 5 Favorite Sharks: Fun Facts


Image from my animated documentary short FINconceivable

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.


Sources Cited

(Linked for easy access further reading)