In honor of Sharktober, lets talk about some sharks you might not hear about that often! These five strange sharks may change what comes to mind next time you think of Jaws…
- Basking Shark (Cetorhinus maximus)
- Why the name? Basking sharks are slow swimmers that appear to “bask” at the surface of the water.
- Diet: Predominately feeds on plankton. Like the popular whale shark, the basking shark is also a filter feeder.
- Size: Can grow up to 6-8 meters in length.
- Range of habitat: Found in all temperate oceans.
Conservation status: Vulnerable
Not too long ago, this shark was found in the waters of Australia for the first time in several decades! Read more here.
- Goblin Shark (Mitsukurina owstoni)
- Fun Fact: Goblin Sharks do not like being exposed to sunlight, hence the nickname “vampire sharks.”
- Diet: Various species found on the ocean floor. Their very large liver suggests that they feed infrequently.
- Size: Can grow up to 3-4 meters
- Range of Habitat: Deep sea shark
- Greenland Shark (Somniosus microcephalus)
- Fun Fact: It’s estimated that around 90 percent of Greenland sharks are blind. This is due to a parasite that attaches itself to the sharks cornea.
- Diet: This shark will eat practically anything that floats down to the ocean floor.
- Size: Can exceed 5-6 meters
- Range of habitat: Sub-arctic
Conservation status: Near Threatened
Read more here.
- Dwarf Lanternshark (Etmopterus perryi)
- Fun Fact: The dwarf lantern has light emitting organs along its belly and fins, which allow it to camouflage in shallow water.
- Size: The smallest known shark is generally smaller than an average human hand!
- Range of Habitat: The northern coast of South America and the Caribbean.
- Cookie Cutter Shark (Isistius brasiliensis)
- Fun Fact: the cookie cutter shark gets its name from the perfectly round bite it takes from its prey. The shark has powerful “lips” and upper and lower rows of sharp teeth that latch onto its prey, and quickly takes a circular chunk out of it.
- Diet: Any large, slow moving, marine animal.
- Size: Can grow up to 2 feet long.
- Range of Habitat: The cookie cutter shark can be found in warm oceans, usually near islands, worldwide.