In homage to Shark Week, I have been scouring the internet to find some cute sharks lurking oceans around the world. Here are 15 seemingly huggable sharks that you probably shouldn’t.
Cook Cutter Shark
COOKIE CUTTER SHARK #1 Counselor at Ocean Camp for Kids! His campers never come back with bad reviews!
Scientific Name: Isistius Brasiliensis
Size: Males Grow to a maximum of 16.5 inches, while females grow up to 22 inches.
Attack History: Cookie Cutter sharks, being so small, are usually not thought to be a threat to humans. However, they are scrappy. A Navy ship was once damaged to the point of having to return back to land for repairs by these little boys. There has been one documented human attack, involving a long-distance swimmer in Maui. They typically hunt at night; therefore, humans rarely see them.
Fun Fact: The entire underside of the cookiecutter glows thanks to light-emitting organs in its skin called photophores.
Careful! Those snouts aren’t made for pickin’! Lined with seriously sharp teeth, Sawsharks use their noses to slash at prey.
Scientific Name: Pristiophoriformes
Size: Up to 5 Ft.
Attack History: They tend to stay closer to the ocean floor; therefore there are no documented attacks on humans.
Fun Fact: The dorsal and pectoral fins are covered with plates known as placoid scales (aka dermal denticles). These tough scales are actually modified teeth, found only on cartilaginous fish (sharks and rays, also known as elasmobranchs).
Poor Greenland Shark. Impromptu Photoshoots scare us all.
Scientific Name: Sominiosus Microcephalus
Size: Up to 24 Ft.
Attack History: These giant, cute sharks are one of the larger species on the planet. Being so massive, they can only travel up to 1.7 miles per hour, and there is only one documented human attack.
Fun Fact: Greenland sharks might live as long as 200 years!!!!!!!
NO! Hammerhead Sharks have a vertical 360 degree view! THEY WILL FIND YOU
Scientific Name: Sphyrna
Size: Up to 20 Ft.
Attack History: 17 Human Attacks
Fun Fact: Hammerhead Sharks have the ability to sport a nice tan! They are one of very few animals who tan from the sun. This happens to the shark because Hammerheads are often cruising in shallow water or near the surface for extended periods of time.
As Filter Feeders, a school of fish is always a big win for Whale Sharks.
Size: 25 – 46 Ft. The largest of the species.
Attack History: Two Human Attacks.
Fun Fact: Whale sharks have about 3,000 tiny teeth (less than 6mm long) but they don’t use those teeth to eat. It is thought that those teeth may vestigial like our appendix and remain from the age when whale sharks preyed on larger species.
Catsharks have a lot of Feline similarities. They lay around all day and sneak attack wandering prey.
Scientific Name: Scyliorhinidae
Size: Up to 3 Ft.
Attack History: Zero found human attacks.
Fun Fact: The catshark is the largest shark family with a total of 160 species! Some even GLOW.
Zebra Sharks are known to be among the friendliest of the species. Often, they even let humans even hand feed them! (And by that I mean feed them fish with your hand, not them feed on your hand.)
Scientific Name: Stegostoma Fasciatum
Size: Up to 11.5 Ft.
Attack History: One unprovoked attack. However, they have a history of biting divers who try to ride them or pull on their tails.
Fun Fact: Tourists around the coasts of Africa, Asia, and Australia have started to seek them out, as they are becoming more and more used to positive interaction. Some will even allow you to hand feed them!
Dumb Gulper Shark
Darwinism at it again? Dumb Gulper Sharks are Critically Endangered.
Scientific Name: Centrophorus Harrissoni
Size: Up to 3.6 Ft.
Attack History: When the Nova Scotia steamship was sunk near South Africa during World War War II, a large number of the 1,000 passengers were believed to have been killed by these cute sharks. There were only 192 survivors.
Fun Fact: These greyish-brown sharks have a slender body and can grow up to 110cm. They have a long head with a flattened snout, a big mouth and big eyes to help them see at greater depths. They can live up to 46 years on average, and have a Conservation Status of Critically Endangered!
Life isn’t so easy for this pretty creature. Ghost Sharks are often caught in fishing nets or eaten by larger sharks.
Scientific Name: Callorhinchus Milii
Size: Males can grow to 1.6 Ft., Females can grow to 2.3 Ft.
Attack History: No Documented human attacks.
Fun Fact: They are highly treasured for consumption by the Ngai Tahu Maori tribe. In pre-European times, ghost sharks were netted during the summer months, then dried and stored in kelp bags. It continues to be targeted by the Ngai Tahu, with over 80% of the total New Zealand catch taken in the waters of the Ngai Tahu region.
Ready for your Closeup, Mr. Shark? Lemon Sharks have extremely horrible vision. But they will still eat you.
Scientific Name: Negaprion Brevirostis
Size: Up to 10 Ft.
Attack History: 22 Human attacks.
Fun Fact: Lemon Sharks have a magnetic sensor in their nose that allows them to attract prey and find mates. Due to their poor eyesight, they rely primarily on their sense of smell.
These bathing beauties are known to not only be one the of most beautiful sharks in the ocean, but they are also characterized as a non-threat to humans.
Scientific Name: Trakis Semifasciata
Size: Up to 7 Ft.
Attack History: 1 reported, minor attack.
Fun Fact: The Leopard Shark captures prey with a combination of suction and biting.
Pyjama sharks spend most of their time laying around the ocean floor.
Scientific Name: Poroderma Africanum
Size: Up to 3.6 Ft.
Attack History: Harmless
Fun Fact: These little Pyjama Catsharks are a known nuisance. They love to spend their time stealing bait from commercial fisherman.
Spiny Dogfish Shark
Scientific Name: Squalus Acanthias
Size: Up to 5.2 Ft.
Attack History: 0 Reported
Fun Facts: Their gestation period is TWO YEARS! Threats to humans may include their sharp teeth and poisonous dorsal fin spines. Dogfish sharks get their name from their unique habit of traveling in schools (like a pack of dogs).
Sawback Angel Shark
Sawback Angel Shark
Scientific Name: Squatinidae Aculeata
Size: Up to 6.7 Ft.
Attack History: 0 Reported.
Fun Facts: Sawback Angel Sharks are patient hunters. Their camouflage bodies allow them to blend into the ocean floor, for days at a time, just waiting to sneak attack their prey.
Scientific Name: Oxynotus Caribbaeus
Size: Up to 1.7 Ft.
Attack History: 0 Reported
Fun Facts: This species has an unusual dentition. They have blade-like lower teeth, and spear-shaped upper teeth.