Fast Facts for Kids
Shark Facts for Kids

Shark Facts for Kids

  • Common Name: Shark
  • Clade: Selachimorpha
  • Total Species: 500+
  • Diet: Carnivore (Eats Meat)
  • Size Range: Between 6.7 inches and 40+ feet.
  • Habitat Range: Worldwide (All Oceans and Seas)
  • First Appeared: ~420 million years ago

27 Shark Facts For Kids

  1. Shark is the common name for a large group of cartilaginous fish in the Selachimorpha suborder.
  2. Sharks are saltwater fish that can be found in every ocean on our planet.
  3. Sharks are carnivorous and eat a wide variety of aquatic animals, marine mammals and when possible, land mammals.
  4. Paleontologists have discovered fossil evidence showing sharks first appeared around 420 million years ago.
  5. Sharks can be as short as 8 inches (dwarf lanternshark) or reach more than 60 feet in length (whale shark).
  6. Sharks are commonly found down to the depth of 6,600 feet, but some can dive down to 10,000 feet. A Portuguese dogfish (Centroscymnus coelolepis) had a confirmed sighting at 12,100 feet.
  7. The average swimming speed for all shark species is 5 miles per hour and when attacking they can reach up to 12 miles per hour. However, some sharks like the shortfin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus) can reach up to 31 miles per hour.
  8. The average life span of all shark species is between 20 and 30 years, but some species can live far longer. Like the Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus), which is believed to live over 200 years.
  9. Sharks don’t have any bones, instead they have skeletons made from cartilage, reducing body weight and saving energy.
  10. Sharks are known for their amazing sense of smell, with some shark species being able to detect blood in sea water with as little as one part per million.
  11. Sharks are constantly replacing their teeth and some shark species can lose and replace up to 30,000 teeth in a lifetime.
  12. There are several shark species that are consider apex predators, such as the great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias), tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier) and the great blue shark blue shark (Prionace glauca).
  13. There are 535 different species of shark found worldwide and they are divided into eight different orders.
  14. The smallest shark species is the dwarf lanternshark (Etmopterus perryi) with a maximum length of 8 inches.
  15. The largest shark species is the whale shark (Rhincodon typus) with a confirmed maximum length of 61.7 feet.
  16. The eight orders of sharks are angelsharks (Squatiniformes), bullhead sharks (Heterodontiformes), carpet sharks (Orectolobiformes), cow and frilled sharks (Hexanchiformes), dogfish sharks (Squaliformes), ground sharks (Carcharhiniformes), mackerel sharks (Lamniformes) and sawsharks (Pristiophoriformes).
  17. An example of an angelshark is the Australian angelshark (Squatina australis).
  18. An example of a bullhead shark is the horn shark (Heterodontus francisci).
  19. An example of a carpet shark is the sand devil (Squatina dumeril).
  20. An example of a cow and frilled shark is the bigeyed sixgill shark (Hexanchus nakamurai).
  21. An example of a dogfish shark is the spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias)
  22. An example of a ground shark is the finetooth shark (Carcharhinus isodon).
  23. An example of a mackerel shark is the great white shark.
  24. An example of a sawshark is the tropical sawshark (Pristiophorus delicatus).
  25. Many people are afraid of sharks, however there are only around 80 shark attacks reported worldwide every year. This fear of sharks is born out of the fiction, like the Jaws movie series. You’re 25 times more likely to be killed by a lightning strike then a shark attack.
  26. Shark population has declined by 71% since 1970 due to overfishing by humans.
  27. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists 74 shark species that are threated with extinct, with various threat categories between vulnerable and critically endangered.

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Shark Pictures

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the below images will be helpful for your research on sharks. Below are twelve pictures of different species of sharks. These pictures should help you better understand the different types of sharks found in oceans worldwide.

Great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias)

The great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias).

Tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier)

The tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier).

Bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas)

The bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas).

Whale shark (Rhincodon typus)

The whale shark (Rhincodon typus).

Hammerhead shark (Sphryna lewinii)

The hammerhead shark (Sphryna lewinii).

Nurse shark (Ginglymostoma cirratum)

The nurse shark (Ginglymostoma cirratum).

Sand tiger shark (Carcharias tauru)

The sand tiger shark (Carcharias tauru).

Blue shark (Prionace glauca)

The blue shark (Prionace glauca).

Shortfin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus)

The shortfin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus).

Shark Resources

We hope you found the above sharks facts, information, data, and pictures both fun and educational. You can continue to research sharks using one of the below additional resources. They were chosen for their credibility and accuracy; you can trust their information when it comes to sharks. Thank you for choosing Fast Facts for Kids.