Review of the best according to the editorial board. On the selection criteria. This material is subjective and does not constitute advertising and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.
Sharks are one of the most advanced marine predators. They appeared about 450 million years ago and have practically not changed to date. And still, sharks dominate the seas and oceans, becoming a threat to fish and marine mammals, and in some cases – to humans.
In this article, we have collected 10 of the largest sharks in the world, which amaze and impress with their size.
Ranking of the largest sharks in the world
|Nomination||a place||Shark||Maximum length|
|Ranking of the largest sharks in the world||10||Shark-mako||4.5 meters|
|9||Fox shark||5-6 meters|
|8||Sixgill shark||3.5-4 meters|
|7||Pelagic largemouth shark||5.7 meters|
|6||Giant Hammerhead Shark||7.89 meters|
|5||Tiger shark||7 meters|
|4||Greenland shark||7 METERS|
|3||Great white shark||7 meters|
|2||Giant shark||9.8 meters|
|1||Whale shark||20 m|
10th place: Shark-mako
The mako shark is interesting not only for its size. She is one of the fastest in her family. In pursuit of prey, it can reach speeds of over 70 kilometers per hour! This is achieved thanks to a rather interesting anatomy, including powerful musculature and not typical of the large tail family.
The Mako shark lives in almost all oceans, choosing a pelagic zone (at a depth of 200 meters). That is, cases of collision with a person are very rare – after all, people prefer to swim near the coast. The main diet of the mako shark is bony fish that live in the water column. However, sometimes they also hunt dolphins.
An interesting feature of the Mako shark is oophagia. A pregnant female bears eggs in herself, which burst even before childbirth. And as a result, small embryos begin to hunt each other right in the womb.
The Mako shark can grow up to 4.5 meters. However, the usual body size of this fish is about 3.2-3.5 meters.
9th place: Fox shark
The fox shark – aka 'sea fox' – is interesting with a very large tail fin. The length of its upper 'feather' can be up to half the size of the whole fish! Moreover, this fin is by no means a decoration.
The long tail fin is used by the sea fox when hunting like a whip. With his blows the fish can stun the victim. In addition, it helps herd prey into flocks. The fox shark feeds mainly on ocean fish – mackerel and tuna. In addition, it is capable of jumping out of the water to a height of about 6 meters and catching seabirds right on the fly. The fox shark is not interested in humans, and those rare attacks are most often caused by direct human aggression.
Fox shark can grow up to 5-6 meters. True, half of the body's length is precisely the powerful tail fin. The largest specimens weigh up to 500 kilograms. The easiest way to find the sea fox is on the coast of the Indian Ocean, although it is found in almost all oceans of the planet.
8th place: Six-gill shark
The sixgill shark is an inhabitant of warm waters. It looks a bit like a sea fox, especially with its long tail fin. True, unlike the previous species in the rating, she prefers to stay in shallow water, near the coast.
But living near the coast does not make the sixgill shark dangerous to humans. She is afraid of people and, when meeting with swimmers, tries to go to the depths. Sixgill is a commercial species. This shark is often caught and eaten (their meat is smoked, salted, dried, used for flour and animal feed). This is partly due to some slowness of the fish, although in case of danger or on a hunt, it can accelerate quite strongly.
Despite being safe for humans, the Hexgill is quite aggressive. He can hunt not only sea fish, but also smaller representatives of his own species. Cases are known when large sixgill species tried to eat smaller 'comrades' caught on a hook.
The six-gill shark grows to an average of 3.5-4 meters in length (including the tail fin). The maximum recorded weight is 590 kilograms.
7th place: Pelagic bigmouth shark
The pelagic bigmouth shark is a rather rare and poorly studied species. Despite the fact that it is found in almost all oceans of the Southern Hemisphere at a relatively shallow depth of about 150 meters, it is not possible to study it due to its small population.
The pelagic largemouth shark is a strainer. That is, it does not feed on fish, but on small marine crustaceans, mainly krill. In the huge mouth there are fringed processes on which small teeth are located. It is through them that the water column is passed. At the same time, krill and other marine 'little things' remain on the teeth. In this case, the areas of the skin around the mouth additionally luminesce, attracting crustaceans.
Despite such a diet, the pelagic largemouth shark is capable of growing to large sizes. The maximum recorded length is 5.7 meters, although less 'impressive' specimens 3-4 meters in size are usually caught.
6th place: Giant hammerhead shark
The giant hammerhead shark is one of the most recognizable members of the squad. It got its name from the fact that its eyes are on rather large outgrowths on the left and right sides of the head.
The giant hammerhead shark is a heat-loving fish. It is found on the coast of almost all oceans and prefers to stay in the water column warmed by the sun. Most often, the hammerhead shark can be found on coral reefs, since this is where its prey is robbed.
Despite the fact that the giant hammerhead shark poses a potential danger to humans due to its large size and aggressive disposition, no cases of this fish attacking humans have been recorded. Favorite prey – stingrays. So, in the stomach of one of the captured hammerhead sharks, more than 50 of them were found! Most often, the victims are small members of the stingray family, such as seals, spotted eagles and even ordinary stingrays.
The maximum recorded size of a giant hammerhead shark is 7.89 meters. Although specimens with a length of 3.5-7.5 meters are usually found. With such dimensions, the fish weighs a little – the maximum recorded weight is 453 kilograms.
5th place: Tiger shark
The tiger shark, due to the fact that it is an almost perfect hunter, belongs to the so-called 'top predators'. That is, in habitats, it occupies a dominant position in the food chain. Nobody hunts her.
The tiger shark is able to perform almost imperceptible movements, without causing water fluctuations, while patrolling the territory or searching for prey; and instantly develop high speeds, rushing at the victim or swimming away from pursuit. She is also not picky about food at all – she hunts fish, crustaceans, small dolphins, and turtles. Like the great white, the tiger shark has a keen sense of smell and is able to smell blood at a great distance. In addition, she boasts excellent hearing, thanks to which she can recognize even distant bursts. This predator is so indiscriminate in food that it can devour representatives of its own species.
The tiger shark can grow up to 7 meters in length, but most of them are 5 meters. They weigh up to 635 kilograms. The tiger shark is dangerous to humans and often preys on swimmers who find themselves in shallow waters in tropical waters. So, in Hawaii, about 3-4 attacks are recorded annually. Sometimes fish are even capable of throwing themselves onto boats.
4th place: Greenland shark
The Greenland polar shark is one of the largest inhabitants of polar waters. And at the same time – the most dangerous. She is the so-called 'top predator' and does not disdain any food. The diet includes not only local fish, but also seals, even reindeer and polar bears that have fallen into the water. This predator does not disdain even carrion.
Moreover, this species is slow. They rarely reach speeds of more than 2 kilometers per hour. Therefore, a frightened seal may well swim away from the predator. However, this does not prevent the shark from hunting sleeping marine mammals.
The body of the Greenland shark is capable of producing glycoproteins – a natural analogue of antifreeze. This helps the predator to feel confident even in extreme conditions. So, in winter, the temperature of the polar waters drops to -2 degrees – and at the same time the fish continues to live, swim and hunt.
The Greenland shark is potentially dangerous to humans – only people try not to get into such cold water. Therefore, no cases of attack were registered. On the contrary, people hunt these predators for the sake of liver fat and meat (moreover, fresh it is poisonous, it takes up to six months to eat it).
This predator can grow up to 6-7 meters in length and weigh up to 1.5 tons.
3rd place: Great white shark
Great white shark, she is a man-eating shark or karcharodon – one of the most famous representatives of the class of cartilaginous fish. It is she who is the main character of the films 'Jaws' and similar blockbusters, which brought fame and eerie glory to the mind. However, karcharodon is not interested in people – and are in the diet only in rare cases.
The man-eating shark thrives in both warm and cool ocean waters, but most often it can be found on coastal shelves with a temperate climate. Its largest colonies are located in California and Australia, as well as in South Africa. Since the main food base of this predator is pinnipeds (seals and so on), it can often be found on archipelagos inhabited by these mammals.
However, the man-eating shark is not too picky about food. She eats fish and shellfish. Cases of eating the carcasses of dead whales and hunting crocodiles have been recorded. On average, about 6-7 cases of a white shark attack on a person are recorded per year, and about 20% of them are fatal. Carcharodon attacks on small boats were recorded.
Great white sharks can grow up to 5-7 meters in length, and the maximum recorded weight was almost 1900 kilograms.
2nd place: Giant shark
The giant shark, she is also a gigantic one, is one of the largest representatives of its family. And at the same time it is not at all dangerous, since it does not look like a predator in the classical sense of this term. And it is found in hard-to-reach places, choosing cold and temperate waters for habitation. She can even be found off the coast of Antarctica.
The method of hunting this fish is of the greatest interest. She, like pelagic or whale, feeds on krill and other marine 'little things'. True, she has no teeth (not counting a certain number of rudimentary ones), no 'whalebone', or even lamellar outgrowths in her mouth. When hunting, the fish simply opens its mouth and begins to swim. The water is filtered through the gill slits – and krill and other 'sea trifles' remain on them. However, this way of eating is quite justified. The shark is capable of filtering up to 2 thousand tons of water per hour!
The giant shark lives up to its name. It can grow up to 9.8 meters in length. Moreover, females are usually much larger than males. The maximum recorded weight was 4 tons.
This species has no interest in humans, poses no danger and is not afraid. However, it is not recommended to swim close to its representatives. The scales of a giant shark are covered with sharp scales. However, this did not prevent people from catching these fish at all – and for the sake of fat, which they managed to heat up 300-800 liters! Now the demand for blubber has fallen, and therefore the fishery for this underwater giant has decreased.
1st place: Whale shark
Despite its huge, truly gigantic and impressive size, the whale shark is absolutely not dangerous to humans or other mammals, as well as fish. She is a strainer, that is, she feeds on krill, which she catches, passing it through the mouth with special processes.
However, the mouthparts of this strainer are quite interesting. If the pelagic bigmouth has processes with teeth in its mouth, the giant has nothing but gills, then the whale has special cartilaginous plates. They form something like a grid in the fish's mouth. Water passes through the cartilaginous plates, but krill and other zooplankton do not, becoming the prey of the animal.
Of course, such a large fish needs a lot of food. Therefore, it can spend up to 7.5 hours a day near the surface, where the zooplankton is most abundant. The fish swims slowly, unhurriedly, sometimes it stops at all and just shakes its head, passing water through the filtering mouth apparatus.
In general, the whale shark is very lethargic and slow. She does not pay attention to external annoying factors, often even ignoring people passing by. Divers can safely touch her skin – and even to this she does not react in any way. That is why they are periodically caught for fat and meat.
Commercial fishing, combined with a slow breeding rate and apathetic nature, has brought the whale shark to the brink of extinction. According to scientists, there are no more than 1,000 individuals left in the world.
The maximum recorded body length of a whale shark is 20 meters, but specimens with a length of 10-12 m are mainly found. And the largest weight is 36 tons.
Attention! This rating is subjective and does not constitute an advertisement and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.