Shark Species List | Different Species of Shark

Shark Species List

Sharks are one of the most ancient creatures to have ever lived in this world. The shark species list has more than 1000 different types. Sharks have managed to survive more than 400 million years. It might come as a surprise to many that although sharks are the apex predator, but is on the verge of extinction due to uncontrolled fishing.

Sharks and Rays play a very important role in balancing the marine ecosystem. The continued degrading conditions are affecting different species of shark in the world. The continued demand for the shark’s fins and meat has led to their rapidly decreasing number in the oceans around the world. Sharks help in maintaining the marine ecosystem balanced.

All species worldwide have a unique latin name that helps people around the world understand the species correctly. Sharks belong to the classification known as Chondrichthyes i.e (cartilaginous fish) these fish have a flexible cartilage structure rather than bone. The Chondrichthyes mainly consist of 2 groups Holocephali and Elasmobranchii.

The major difference between Holocephalans and Elasmobranchs is the structure of the gills and also their growth rate in the embryo. The Holocephalans have 4-gill slits which are covered with a gill cover known as operculum on the other hand the Elasmobranchs have almost 5 to 7-gill slits which are not covered with any kind of gill cover. The Elasmobranch basically means naked gill.

The Elasmobranchii have 8 orders of sharks. These orders help us in understanding the sharks biological, physical attributes of the sharks.

Below are the Shark Species List in Elasmobrachii

  1. Carcharhiniformes

It is the largest order of sharks which is also called “Ground Sharks”. These sharks have 5-gill slits their eyes are protected with moveable eyelids to prevent injury. They have 2 spineless dorsal fins along with an anal fin and a big mouth which consist of sharp teeth located just behind the eyes.

This shark species list comprises of the Bull Shark, Caribbean Shark, Bronze whaler, Dusky Shark, Galapagos shark, Great Hammerhead, Blacknose Shark, Leopard Mask, Tiger Shark, etc.


  1. Heterodontiformes

    This order of sharks comprises only 9 known species. The major characteristics of this order consist of 5-gill slits a dorsal fin along with a strong spine and a sharp and flat rounded set of teeth in the mouth. The Horn Shark comes in this category of the shark species list.


  1. Hexanchiformes

    It is considered the most ancient species of sharks alive today. These sharks have 6 or 7-gill slits along with a single dorsal fin and an anal fin. Their teeth set are thorny and are found in cold and deep water.  The shark species list of this category is Sharpnose sevengill shark, Broadnose seven gill shark, Bluntnose sixgill shark, and Frilled shark.


  1. Lamniformes

    This category of sharks has 5-gill slits with 2 dorsal fins and an anal fin. These species are capable of maintaining a higher body temperature than the water temperature. This category of shark species list comprises Basking Shark, Crocodile Shark, Goblin Shark, White Shark, Megamouth Shark, and Salmon Shark.


  1. Ocrectolobiformes

    They belong to the most diverse category of sharks. Consists of 5-gill slits, an anal fin, and dorsal fins. Orectolobiformes have spiracles near their eyes and they can be identified with a patterned skin type. Some of them have a barbel on their chins. This category comprises Nurse Shark, Zebra Shark, Whale Shark, Tawny Nurse Shark, Epaulette Shark, Bluegrey Carpet Shark, and Whitespotted Bamboo Shark.


  1. Squaliformes

    This shark species is found in almost every marine habitat. It comprises 126 different species of shark. Squaliformes shark species list has long snouts and short mouth. They have 5 gills slits, 2 dorsal fins but do not have an anal fin.

Sharks that come under this category of shark species list are Bramble Shark, Great Lanterns, Gulper Shark,            Pygmy Shark, Spiny Dogfish, Kitefin Shark, Greenland Shark, and Cookiecutter Shark.


  1. Squantiniformes

    It is recognized as the flattened body shark in the shark species list. They have dermal flaps in their mouth in front of a snout with nasal barbels. They do not have anal fins and have spiracles on top of their head. Angel sharks come in this category.


  1. Pristiophoriformes

    They are also called “saw sharks” and have long saw-like snouts. They have 5 or in some sharks 6-gill slits with 2 dorsal fins. These sharks not have anal fins but have wide pectoral fins their mouths have transverse teeth. These shark species are mostly found in the tropical coastal waters. The Bahamas saw sharks come under this category of the shark species list.

Below is the further classification of the shark’s species list according to their category. Get a better understanding of the sharks in each category by their specific description.

  1. Bull Shark

    Belonging to the Carcharhinus Leucas category or the “Ground Sharks”. This shark has a flat broad snout. It is amongst the 43 shark species found in seawater and freshwater. Bull Shark is known for attacking humans worldwide. Bull sharks can eat almost every fish in the ocean such as dolphins.


  1. Horn Shark

    It is a small shark and can be found in the North American region. Horn shark has a long spine on their high dorsal fins. It also has small dark spots on its brownish-gray skin. The maximum length of this shark is around 1.2m. Although it is large in size it has a small range of homes. These sharks like to stay in the same area for many years.


  1. Sharpnose Sevegill Shark

    This is the smallest shark member in the Hexanchiformes category. It is also known as Perlon Shark. These sharks are the most identical to the primitive shark from the fossil record. They are known to have a simple digestive and skeletal system.


  1. Goblin Shark

    These sharks dwell in the deepest portion of the ocean it can go as 1200m low. These sharks are mainly found in the western Indian oceans and are seen very rarely as they reside in the lowest part of the ocean. They have an appearance like a blade.


  1. Nurse Shark

    It is also called Ginglymostoma cirratum. They make sucking sounds while hunting for their prey in the sand. This shark can grow up to the length of 4.5 meters and weigh 150 kilograms. The average lifespan of these sharks is between 25 to 35 years.


  1. Greenland Shark

    This shark gets very large in size mainly found in extremely cold temperature water. Despite being huge in size the growth rate of this shark is very slow it grows 1 cm per year. The speed at which these sharks move is also very slow, but they prefer fast-moving fish for their hunting time.


  1. Angel Shark

    It is also known as monkfish its uniqueness is in its size they grow up to 7 feet only. The weight of an angel shark can be up to 77 pounds. The outer portion of the body gives a muscular appearance despite the fact of being a flattened body shark.


  1. Bahamas Sawshark

    It is also known as American Sawshark. This shark lives in the Atlantic Ocean. They have a unique snout that is longer, flattened, and tapered. This shark species have many serrated teeth on both sides of their snout. They have 13 or in some 14 sets of teeth on each side of their snout. Bahamas sawshark can grow up to 80cm long.


We hope the above information will help you understand the different species of shark. Every shark is unique in its own way and it is high time we take some initiative to safeguard these species before they go extinct. Sharks are those species that help in maintaining the marine ecosystem, getting complete information about these species is very important to save them.


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