- Name: Shark
- Superorder: Selachimorpha
- Orders: (8) living, (5) extinct
- Total Species: 470+
- Diet: Carnivorous (most species)
- Appeared: 420+ million years ago
17 Shark Facts for Kids
- Sharks are members of the Selachimorpha superorder.
- There are over 440 different species of sharks worldwide.
- Sharks first appeared in the fossil records around 455 million years ago.
- The smallest shark is the dwarf lanternshark (Etmopterus perryi), it reaches a maximum length of only 7.9 inches.
- The largest shark is the whale shark (Rhincodon typus), it can reach up to 60 feet in length.
- Sharks have four different types of teeth, dense flattened, needle-like, pointed lower with triangular upper, and non-functional.
- Sharks are elasmobranch fish, meaning they don’t have any bones, instead they are made up of cartilaginous tissue.
- A shark’s skin would feel very similar to sandpaper.
- Not all sharks reproduce the same way, some lay eggs, while others give live birth.
- A shark’s sense of smell is around 10,000 times better than humans.
- The bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas) can survive in both salt and fresh water. They’ve been found 700 miles from the ocean, via the Mississippi River, in Alton, Illinois.
- The great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) is an apex predator and holds the record for the most recorded fatal attacks on humans.
- Hammerhead sharks are easily recognizable by the shape of their head, which looks like a hammer.
- The tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier) are nocturnal hunters and live a solitary life.
- The whale shark (Rhincodon typus) is the largest living fish species on our planet.
- The goblin shark (Mitsukurina owstoni) is a very rare deep-sea shark and is sometimes considered a living fossil.
- While the movie Jaws made people scared of sharks, on average only five people a year die from a shark attack.
The Bull Shark.
The Great White Shark.
The Hammerhead Shark.
The Tiger Shark.
The Whale Shark.
The Goblin Shark.
Credit: National Geographic Kids
Additional Resources on Sharks
- Sharks – World Wild Life – Explore more facts about sharks on the World Wild Life website.
- Sharks – Britannica – Discover more cool things about sharks on the Britannica website.
- Sharks – Wikipedia – Learn more about sharks on the Wikipedia website.