We commonly see and know sharks through movies that we watch, such as the movie Jaws. Sharks in the movies have always been depicted as gigantic, terrifying sea monsters who can devour you easily, but not everything we see in the movies is accurate. However, it does always give out accurate facts about sharks and their behaviors.
Big sharks are always shown on our screens but did you know that there are existing sharks out there that are very small that could fit in your hand and that you could miss it as a shark because of how small they are. Here is the top 10 list of the smallest sharks in the world.
Small Sharks in the Marine Ecosystem
We grew up thinking that sharks are enormous. But did you know that there are also smaller species? Discover these smallest sharks in the world that would blow your mind.
Meet The Smallest Sharks in the Ocean
Panama Ghost Catshark
Another type of smallest shark known to many is the Panama ghost catshark. This small shark reaches up to 9 inches in length and can only be found off the Panama’s coast in the Pacific Ocean.
Sadly, there is only very little known to these sharks aside from their size and their oviparous reproduction. Based on where the scientists found them, they believe that Panama ghost catsharks live at 3,000 to 3,198 ft deep in the ocean.
Dwarf Lantern Shark
With its 8 inches size in length, the Dwarf Lantern Shark is considered to be among the smallest sharks in the world. Like with the other sharks listed above, there is only little known about Dwarf Lantern Sharks, but most of the ones found can fit inside a human hand.
These small sharks can be found ocean deep at 929 to 1,440 feet on the coasts of Colombia and Venezuela along the continental shelf. They feed mainly on krill. To attract their prey, they also use bioluminescence.
It could be argued that the Pygmy sharks are the second smallest species of the shark because the male Pygmy sharks reach 8.7 inches at maturity. Meanwhile, the females reach 11 inches at maturity. Pygmy sharks use their bioluminescent organs along their stomach to attract their prey, and their common prey are krill and small fishes.
Atlantic Ghost Catshark
This shark is also known as Atlantic catshark. These sharks can be found in the Eastern Atlantic, right around the Portuguese Island. Atlantic catsharks reach up to 9.25 inches in length. They have unusually large eyes, a body rather slender, and a trunk slightly tapering towards their head. Their most striking characteristics are their lead-grey coloration, elevated, Deanna-like lateral denticles that give off their skin a fuzzy texture.
Pale Catsharks only reach 8.2 inches in length at maturity. They are deep-sea fish living at 2,148 feet in the oceans of Makassar Straits in Indonesia. These sharks resemble a typical catshark with their reddish-white color.
The only known facts about Pale catsharks are their size, the depth of where they live, and oviparous, meaning they lay pairs of eggs. Yet, these sharks are still well-thought-out as one of the smallest sharks in the world.
African Lantern Shark
Etmopterus polli, more commonly known as African Lantern Shark, is a modern shark species in the family of Lantern sharks. African Lantern Sharks grow to 11 inches in length at maturity; these sharks can be found deep in the ocean along the continental slope at 984 to 3,280 feet.
Although African lantern sharks are common bycatch, only limited facts are known about their biology and behavior. Scientists believe that these sharks use ovoviviparous as their reproduction, meaning they have the embryos that develop inside the eggs and remain in the mother's body until they are prepared to hatch.
Green Lantern Shark
Green Lantern Shark are known for being small. At about 10.2 inches long, they are known to the Western Central Atlantic located in the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. They can be found at the depths of 643 to 3,001 feet.
These sharks commonly feed on squid and octopi, and they have a unique black marking along their tail that is bioluminescent, which helps them attract their prey.
The top 10 in our list is the Granular Dogfish, named for its grainy appearance and skin texture. These sharks can only reach 11 inches in length. They are usually found around the Falkland Islands in the Atlantic Ocean.
These sharks have no anal fin, and it has two dorsal spines with the second one being much larger than the first, they have large eyes, prominent nostrils and spiracles, and brownish-black color.
Broad nose Catshark
There is very little known about Broad nose Catshark, but it is known for the fact that they grow up to 10.2 inches and live in the deep water at 3,412 feet. Scientists believe that it shares similar physical traits and behaviors to the Ghost Catshark.
They were also able to find one specimen of Broadnose Catshark. Although what they found was an immature species, they believe that it may grow more than 10.2 inches.
Spine Pygmy Shark
Spine pygmy sharks can be found in nearly every ocean in the world except in the Antarctic Ocean. Typically, this shark can be found about 660 to 1,600 ft. deep in the ocean. It migrates vertically at night to hunt for small bony fishes. The male Spine pygmy shark has a length of 8.7 inches. Meanwhile, the females reach a length of 11 inches.
Feared by many and loved by some, sharks are among the fascinating groups of sea creatures wandering around the Earth. They may look scary, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are still a part of our marine ecosystem. There are currently more than 250 identified shark species, making them one of the most diverse animal types on our planet.
However, there are still many unknown facts to some of these species existing. It is also not harmful to think that there might still be another species of shark existing out there, deep in the ocean, waiting to be discovered.
ATOLEA Shark-inspired jewelry is also a perfect addition to any Ocean lover’s collection. Wearing them will definitely show your fearless side and respect to these amazing sea creatures.
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