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10 Largest Sharks in the World

If you love sharks and you want to know more about them, well here are the top 10 largest sharks that exist on planet earth and that we know about.

1. Whale shark

The largest confirmed individual that has a length of  approximately 18.8 m, and also being the largest living non-mammalian vertebrate. The whale shark holds many records for size in the animal kingdom, The largest on record, caught off Pakistan in 1947 which was 41.5 feet in length. It weighed 28 tons which is considered larger than the size of 4 male elephants together. The whale shark lives in the open waters of the tropical oceans and is rarely found in water temperatures below 21 °C (70 °F).

Whale Shark
2. Basking shark

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Basking Shark
3. The Megamouth Shark

Scientifically known as (Megachasma pelagios) which is a deepwater shark. It is rarely seen by humans and is the smallest of the three extant filter-feeding sharks alongside the whale shark and basking shark. Since its discovery in 1976, few megamouth sharks have been seen, with fewer than 100 specimens being observed or caught. Megamouths are large sharks, able to grow to 5.49 metres (18.0 ft) in length.[Males mature by 4 m (13 ft) and females by 5 m (16 ft). Weights of up to 1,215 kg (2,679 lb) have been reported.

Megamouth Shark
4. Great white shark

The great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) is a species of large mackerel shark which can be found in the coastal surface waters of all the major oceans. The great white shark is notable for its size, with larger female individuals growing to 6.1 m (20 ft) in length and 1,905 kg (4,200 lb) in weight at maturity. However, most are smaller; males measure 3.4 to 4.0 m (11 to 13 ft), and females measure 4.6 to 4.9 m (15 to 16 ft) on average
According to a 2014 study, the lifespan of great white sharks is estimated to be as long as 70 years or more, well above previous estimates, making it one of the longest lived cartilaginous fish currently known. According to the same study, male great white sharks take 26 years to reach sexual maturity, while the females take 33 years to be ready to produce offspring. Great white sharks can swim at speeds of over 56 km/h (35 mph), and can swim to depths of 1,200 m (3,900 ft)

Great White Shark
5. Pacific sleeper shark

The Pacific sleeper shark may be larger than the Greenland shark, and could even be bigger than the great white. But for now, this is speculation – lengths above 20 to 21 feet are based solely on observation. Most Pacific sleepers measure 12 to 14 feet in length. is a sleeper shark of the family Somniosidae, found in the North Pacific on continental shelves and slopes in Arctic and temperate waters between latitudes 70°N and 22°N, from the surface to 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) deep.[1][2] Records from southern oceans are likely misidentifications of relatives.[1] Its length is up to 4.4 m (14 ft), although it could possibly reach lengths in excess of 7 m (23 ft). Pacific sleeper sharks, which are thought to be both predators and scavengers, can glide through the water with little body movement and little hydrodynamic noise, making them successful stealth predators. They feed by means of suction and cutting of their prey. They have large mouths that can inhale prey and their teeth cut up any pieces that are too large to swallow. They show a characteristic rolling motion of the head when feeding. Only in Alaska has the shark’s diet been studied – most sharks’ stomachs contain remains of giant Pacific octopus.

Pacific sleeper shark
6. Greenland shark

The Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus), also known as the gurry shark, grey shark, or by the Kalaallisut name eqalussuaq, is a large shark of the family Somniosidae (“sleeper sharks”), closely related to the Pacific and southern sleeper sharks.[2] The distribution of this species is mostly restricted to the waters of the North Atlantic Ocean and Arctic Ocean.
Greenland sharks have the longest known lifespan of all vertebrate species (estimated to be between 300–500 years), and the species is among the largest extant species of shark. As an adaptation to living at depth,[3] it has a high concentration of trimethylamine N-oxide in its tissues, which causes the meat to be toxic.[4] Greenland shark flesh treated to reduce toxin levels is eaten in Iceland as a delicacy known as kæstur hákarl. The Greenland shark is one of the largest living species of shark, with dimensions comparable to those of the great white shark. Greenland sharks grow to 6.4 m (21 ft) and 1,000 kg (2,200 lb),[6] and possibly up to 7.3 m (24 ft) and more than 1,400 kg (3,100 lb).[7][8] Most Greenland sharks observed have been around 2.44–4.8 m (8.0–15.7 ft) long and weigh up to 400 kg (880 lb)

Greenland Shark
7. Great hammerhead shark

There are many types of hammerhead sharks (eight species in total) but only one great hammerhead. It is the largest species of hammerhead shark, belonging to the family Sphyrnidae, attaining a maximum length of 6.1 m (20 ft). It is found in tropical and warm temperate waters worldwide, inhabiting coastal areas and the continental shelf. The great hammerhead can be distinguished from other hammerheads by the shape of its “hammer” (called the “cephalofoil”), which is wide with an almost straight front margin, and by its tall, sickle-shaped first dorsal fin. A solitary, strong-swimming apex predator, the great hammerhead feeds on a wide variety of prey ranging from crustaceans and cephalopods, to bony fish, to smaller sharks. Observations of this species in the wild suggest that the cephalofoil functions to immobilize stingrays, a favored prey. This species has a viviparous mode of reproduction, bearing litters of up to 55 pups every two years.

Great Hammerhead
8. Common thresher shark

The common thresher (Alopias Vulpinus), also known by many names such as Atlantic thresher, big-eye thresher, fox shark, green thresher, swingletail, slasher, swiveltail, thintail thresher, whip-tailed shark and Zorro thresher shark. It  is the largest species of thresher shark, family Alopiidae, reaching some 6 m (20 ft) in length. About half of its length consists of the elongated upper lobe of its caudal fin. With a streamlined body, short pointed snout, and modestly sized eyes, the common thresher resembles (and has often been confused with) the pelagic thresher. It can be distinguished from the latter species by the white of its belly extending in a band over the bases of its pectoral fins. The common thresher is distributed worldwide in tropical and temperate waters, though it prefers cooler temperatures. It can be found both close to shore and in the open ocean, from the surface to a depth of 550 m (1,800 ft). It is seasonally migratory and spends summers at lower latitudes. Despite its size, the common thresher is minimally dangerous to humans due to its relatively small teeth and timid disposition. It is highly valued by commercial fishers for its meat, fins, hide, and liver oil; large numbers are taken by longline and gillnet fisheries throughout its range. This shark is also esteemed by recreational anglers for the exceptional fight it offers on hook-and-line. The common thresher has a low rate of reproduction and cannot withstand heavy fishing pressure for long, a case in point being the rapid collapse of the thresher shark fishery off California in the 1980s. With commercial exploitation increasing in many parts of the world, the International Union for Conservation of Nature has assessed this species as vulnerable.

The Common Thresher Shark
9. Goblin shark

The Goblin Shark is a rare species of deep-sea shark. Sometimes called a “living fossil”, it is the only extant representative of the family Mitsukurinidae, a lineage some 125 million years old. This pink-skinned animal has a distinctive profile with an elongated, flattened snout, and highly protrusible jaws containing prominent nail-like teeth. It is usually between 3 and 4 m (10 and 13 ft) long when mature, though it can grow considerably larger. Goblin sharks inhabit upper continental slopes, submarine canyons, and seamounts throughout the world at depths greater than 100 m (330 ft), with adults found deeper than juveniles, and in 2000 an enormous female was captured. She measured at least 18 feet in length, proving that goblin sharks can grow far larger than anyone had previously suspected. Given the depths at which it lives, the goblin shark poses little danger to humans. A few specimens have been collected alive and brought to public aquariums, though they could not survive for long time.

Goblin Shark
10. Tiger shark

Tiger sharks tend to measure in the 10 to 14 foot range, with some exceptional individuals approaching 15 feet. The largest tiger shark ever recorded was at least 17, perhaps 18 feet long. Some claim that even larger tiger sharks are out there. The tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier[3]) is a species of requiem shark and the only extant member of the genus Galeocerdo. It is a large macropredator, capable of attaining a length over 5 m (16 ft 5 in).[4] Populations are found in many tropical and temperate waters, especially around central Pacific islands. Its name derives from the dark stripes down its body, which resemble a tiger’s pattern, but fade as the shark matures. The tiger shark commonly attains a length of 3.25–4.25 m (10 ft 8 in–13 ft 11 in) and weighs around 385–635 kg (849–1,400 lb).[7] It is dimorphic, with exceptionally large females reportedly measuring over 5 m (16 ft 5 in), and the largest males 4 m (13 ft 1 in). Weights of particularly large female tiger sharks can exceed 900 kg (2,000 lb).[8][9] One pregnant female caught off Australia reportedly measured 5.5 m (18 ft 1 in) long and weighed 1,524 kg (3,360 lb). Even larger unconfirmed catches have been claimed.[10] Some papers have accepted a record of an exceptional 7.4 m (24 ft 3 in) length for a tiger shark, but since this is far larger than any scientifically observed specimen, verification would be needed. 

Tiger Shark

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