There are so many sharks that you haven’t seen. While you’re used to seeing the scary Great White Shark on screen, there’s a lot more to the shark species. They are a diverse set of animals that deserve to be protected. Even though sharks sound scary, there are many cute sharks that you should know about.
This small shark is about the size of a medium sized fish, and it’s considered harmless to humans. It’s found living near or at the bottom of warm waters, most likely near the coast of Saldanaha to central South Africa. It can be anywhere from 28.7 inches or 73 centimeters to 33.4 inches or 84.9 centimeters depending on the sex of the Leopard Catshark. This small shark will likely also be mistaken for a fish, but if you can notice some of its shark- like features, you might find that it looks like a tiny shark. It’s also one that you might see at aquariums for its unique appearance.
The coloration of this shark is one of the most striking things about its appearance. It has small leopard spots on the top of its body. The color varies from each leopard- like pattern, but the black rings on its body will be unmistakable. The belly of this shark is white, which is a huge contrast with the top of its body. There are three different morphs, or looks, that you’ll see in this species. Some morphs have larger black spots and the other might have more densely spaced dark spots. They feed on small fishes, crustaceans, octopi, and worms.
This shark has a unique name and a unique look. It isn’t very well known, but it was originally discovered in 1887. Since then, not much information has been reported but there are few things known about this shark. It’s only been found in South America around North Central Chile. It’s also been found around the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic and around the Malvinas Islands. It’s usually found in deep water and continental slopes between 1,312 to 1,470 feet. The maximum length of this shark has been reported to be 11 inches, which is very small.
This shark has a very small and uniform body. It’s coloring is usually a brownish black color and there are no very obvious markings which is why it can be confused for a fish sometimes. It has a long abdomen but a stout and compressed body overall. The first dorsal fin is low on his body and it’s much smaller than the second one. The first dorsal fin spine is short and the second one is large and extends behind the apex of the things. There are many other details about his behavioral traits and fencing features that are unknown, but it is reported that this fish is not a threat to humans.
Thresher sharks are solitary creatures they keep to themselves. There are thresher populations of the Indian Ocean separated by depth in space according to sex. Some species do occasionally hunt groups of two or three. The thresher shark is named for their long thrasher-like tail or caudal fins which can be as long as the total body length. They’re active predators and their tail is used as a weapon to stun prey. They usually have a short head and a cone shaped nose. They generally have a small mouth and the teeth range in size from small to large.
The thresher shark is an oceanic and coastal species that inhabits tropical and cold waters worldwide. It’s more common in temperate Waters however. In the Atlantic Ocean it can be found from Newfoundland to Cuba. You can also find it in southern Brazil, Argentina, Norway, the British Isles, Ghana, and the Ivory Coast. It’s even present in the Mediterranean Sea. Thresher sharks feed on squared, octopi, Crustaceans and small schooling fish. The fish they feed on include bluefish, needlefish, lancetfish, lantern fish and mackerel. They’re known to stun their prey with hits from their tails so that they can eat them easily. If they can, they’ll even eat sea birds.
This shark is smaller than a human hand. It’s a rare shark, so you’ll likely not see it while you’re out and about. There isn’t a lot known about this shark and it’s only been seen a few times off the coast of South America 283- 439 meters below sea level. It’s 8.3 inches or 21.2 centimeters large. They’re so small that they aren’t as menacing as any of the sharks that you’re picturing in your mind, and at first glance, they’re the size of a fish. You likely wouldn’t think this is a shark at all.
The dwarf lanternshark has some interesting features. They have light emitting organs along its fins and belly that allows it to do some cool things. It’s light emitting organs are called photophores, and they allow them to camouflage when they feed in shallow water. The lit up belly will blend in with the sunlight that comes through the water. In dark water, the light attracts small animals that they eat. They mostly eat krill. They have big eyes for a shark and it helps them see in the dark waters that they inhabit. They use their size and photophores to their advantage, and they’re known to be very interesting creatures since not much is known about this small shark.
Hammerhead sharks are known for their unique T shaped head. It’s similar in shape to a hammer which is how they got their name. For many years the shape of their head has caused theories and many studies. The hammerhead sharks have a 360 degree view which helps them find food. This vision benefit and the efficient vertebrae structure allow efficient movements and a wide distribution of ampules over a large head area to give them a good advantage as predators.
Other physical characteristics of the hammerhead shark are similar to that of the rest of the shark species. They have nostrils at the tip of their head and large eyes on the side of it. Their mouth is small and has serrated teeth that are located under their head. They have two dorsal fins and the first one is larger than the other one. They also have a different color belly than their dorsal area which is useful for camouflage when they’re swimming in the sea. For many years the shape of their head has caused theories and many studies. The latest and most accepted theory is that it evolved so that the position of the eyes would improve their vision.
Pygmy Ribbontail Catshark
The pygmy ribbontail catshark is one of the world’s smallest sharks. Fully grown, they can be anywhere from 6 inches or 16 centimeters and 7 inches or 19 centimeters. The largest one ever found was even very small and it measured around 9.4 inches or 24 centimeters long. They’re found in the Indo- west Pacific in Tanzania, the Gulf of Aden, India, the Andaman Islands, Vietnam, and the Philippines. They’re usually found in mud and they’re bathydemersal, which means they’re found in water below 650 feet below sea level. Researchers believe that this shark grows relatively fast because the female lays large eggs.
These sharks look unremarkable, but they have some interesting aspects. They likely feed on small fish, crustaceans and squid. They are thin and brown sharks. They usually have dark markings at the end of their dorsal fins. They have papillae at the edges of their gill arches that stop food particles from exiting. The mouth is also odd looking because it’s wide and V- shaped, and it has pointed teeth towards the sides of their mouth. This shark also has a slender form and they birth one or two large pups per liter, so you won’t be seeing many of these around.
This shark was originally seen in the late 1800s, but very little is known about it today. This is a deep sea catshark and it can be identified by its tadpole- like body. It’s ranked as one of the smallest sharks in the world. It grows to be around 7.5 inches or 19 centimeters long to 28 centimeters or 11 inches long. It has been very rarely seen since then, and there are many disagreements about the other sharks that are found in each group. The Lollipop Catshark are usually found in southern Baja California and in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s usually found between 509 to 3,041 feet below sea level.
This shark has a few interesting features that make it unmistakably. They are usually unpatterned and a brownish gray color. Some morphs are known to be almost white or grey fading to almost white at the dorsal, ventral, and pelvic thin margins. They are known as lollipop catsharks, but it has a tadpole- shaped body for very slender and soft, almost gelatinous. The body and tail are also slender. They birth about two pups per litter and all birthing takes place in early summer. Commercially, there aren’t that many people who are interested in it, but it’s often an unwanted fish or creature caught during commercial fishing for different species.
Would you say that sharks are cute now? There are so many fun and interesting shark species to know about and knowledge is the first step to saving this vulnerable animal.