Top Shark Facts


There are many myths surrounding sharks that often contribute to the idea that they are extremely dangerous killing machines. While certain shark species can be described as dangerous to man, the actual statistics of attacks, injuries and deaths paint a very different picture. Many people simply aren't aware of the real facts, and there are a lot of assumptions that people make about sharks that simply aren't true. Here we list just a few elasmo facts to spark your interest and we are asking you to send in your top elasmo facts. 

Email us with your top elasmo facts.


Top Fact Winner Record
Best vision (in theory) White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias)  cone-to-rod ratio of 1:4
Brightest Luminescence Cookiecutter Shark (Isistius brasiliensis)  Very bright green bioluminescence 
Deepest-Dwelling Shark (capture depth)  Portuguese Shark (Centroscymnus coelolepis)  12,060 ft (3,675 m) 
Fastest Shark (greatest recorded)  Shortfin Mako Shark (Isurus oxyrinchus)  35+ mph (56+ kph) swimming speed 
Flattest Shark (least height in proportion to length)  Tie: Wobbegongs (family Orectolobidae) & Angel Sharks (family Squatinidae)  both are very flat 
Highest Leaping Shark (height above water surface)  Shortfin Mako Shark (Isurus oxyrinchus)  reputedly to 20 ft (6 m) 
Largest Eyes (relative to size)  Bigeye Thresher Shark (Alopias superciliosus)  diameter up to 4% body length - largest eyes of any non-avian vertebrate
Largest Litter (oviparous)  Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus)  about 300 eggs in one individual 
Largest Litter (viviparous)  Blue Shark (Prionace glauca)  135 pups in one individual 
Largest Predatory Shark (length)  White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias)  23+ ft (7+ m)
Largest shark of all (length)  Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus)  48 + ft (14 + m) 
Largest Teeth (absolute size)  White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias)  up to 2 in (5.2 cm) tall 
Largest Teeth (relative to size)  Largetooth Cookiecutter (Isistius plutodus)  lower teeth proportionally twice as large as in White Shark 
Least Specialized Diet (stomach contents)  Tiger Shark (Galeocerdo cuvier)  feeds on almost anything it can swallow 
Longest Gestation Period Frilled Shark (Chlamydoselache anguineus)  3.5 years 
Longest Lifespan (experiment)  Spiny Dogfish (Squalus acanthias)  70+ years
Longest Tail (relative to body)  Common Thresher Shark (Alopias vulpinus)  up to 52% of total length 
Most Abundant Shark Spiny Dogfish (Squalus acanthias)  No official figure
Most Common Type of Shark Sharks of the Carcharhiniforme Order This order makes up over half of all known living sharks. Approx. 225 Sp.
Most 'Dangerous' Shark (# of documented attacks)  White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias)  over 212 attacks unprovoked (50 fatalities) 
Most 'Dangerous' Shark (suspected of many more than documented)  Bull Shark (Carcharhinus leucas)  57 documented unprovoked attacks 
Most Elevated Body Temperature  Salmon Shark (Lamna ditropis)  up to 20˚F (11˚C) above ambient 
Most Impressive Leaping Shark Spinner Shark (Carcharhinus brevipinna)  spins on its axis, 2 to 4 times in mid-air 
Most Specialized Diet (stomach contents)  Crested Bullhead Shark (Heterodontus galeatus)  feeds mostly on red sea urchins 
Most Star Appeal Great White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias) What do you think?
Most Widely Distributed Elasmobranch  Blue Shark (Prionace glauca) Worldwide distribution
Most Widely Traveled Shark  Blue Shark (Prionace glauca)  3,470 mi (5,980 km) (tagging returns) 
Shallowest-Dwelling Shark Epaulette Shark (Hemiscyllium ocellatum)  hunts in intertidal pools, several yards (metres) above sea level 
Shark With Biggest Hammer head (relative to size)  Winghead Shark (Eusphyra blochii)  Boomerang-shaped, width about 50% body length 
Sharpest Electrosensitivity (experiment)  Smooth Dogfish (Mustelus canis)  0.05 nV/cm
Sharpest Hearing Shark (determined via experiment)  Silky Shark (Carcharhinus falciformis)  has homed in on low-frequency sounds from at least 1/4 mi (400 m) away 
Shortest Gestation Period Grey Bambooshark (Chiloscyllium griseum)  70 to 80 days @ 77˚F (25˚C) 
Smallest Litter Sandtiger Shark (Carcharias taurus)  two pups/litter, one per uterus (fetuses are cannibals) 
Smallest Shark (length)  Dwarf Lanternshark (Etmopterus perryi)  7.5 in (19 cm) 
Strangest Shark Goblin Shark (Mitsukurina owstoni)  Our opinion
Weirdest diet Whale, Basking and Megamouth Sharks All filter feeders, eating tiny zooplankton