Shark Facts for Kids

A Picture of a Shark
  • 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

  1. Sharks are members of the Selachimorpha superorder.
  2. There are over 440 different species of sharks worldwide.
  3. Sharks first appeared in the fossil records around 455 million years ago.
  4. The smallest shark is the dwarf lanternshark (Etmopterus perryi), it reaches a maximum length of only 7.9 inches.
  5. The largest shark is the whale shark (Rhincodon typus), it can reach up to 60 feet in length.
  6. Sharks have four different types of teeth, dense flattened, needle-like, pointed lower with triangular upper, and non-functional.
  7. Sharks are elasmobranch fish, meaning they don’t have any bones, instead they are made up of cartilaginous tissue.
  8. A shark’s skin would feel very similar to sandpaper.
  9. Not all sharks reproduce the same way, some lay eggs, while others give live birth.
  10. A shark’s sense of smell is around 10,000 times better than humans.
  11. 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.
  12. The great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) is an apex predator and holds the record for the most recorded fatal attacks on humans.
  13. Hammerhead sharks are easily recognizable by the shape of their head, which looks like a hammer.
  14. The tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier) are nocturnal hunters and live a solitary life.
  15. The whale shark (Rhincodon typus) is the largest living fish species on our planet.
  16. The goblin shark (Mitsukurina owstoni) is a very rare deep-sea shark and is sometimes considered a living fossil.
  17. While the movie Jaws made people scared of sharks, on average only five people a year die from a shark attack.

Additional Resources on Sharks