We assume that an animal as big as a shark moves slowly, but that is not the case for some sharks. From the movies that we watch or the videos that we watch on YouTube that were just randomly suggested, we already perceive sharks as terrifying ocean hunters. Sometimes, they are why it is so scary to go out in the middle of the sea. To add up to these alarming impressions of sharks, did you know that sharks can swim fast, which is another reason why they are so terrifying.
Understanding How Sharks Swim
Despite their scary reputation, sharks are not a threat to us humans since we are naturally not part of their diet, and it is very rare for a shark to attack a human. Furthermore, their burst of speed is not something they use to chase humans, but they use their speed to catch their prey in the ocean in short distances, just like tigers and lions. In this article, you will have a better understanding of how fast sharks swim, as we give you different types of sharks that swim fast.
Meet the 5 Fastest Sharks In The Ocean
Here are the 5 fastest sharks to unravel how fast sharks can swim.
Shortfin Mako Shark
Last but not least, the fastest shark out of all the existing species of sharks, the Shortfin Mako Shark, with an impressive speed of 60 mph, leaving a devastating difference in speed with the rest of the sharks in our list. They have extremely streamlined bodies and are shaped like a torpedo, which helps them a lot to reduce drag.
These sharks can reach a size of 13 feet in length, they mainly feed on squids and bony fishes, but they can also hunt for mackerels, tunas, bonitos, and swordfish, porpoises, turtles, and just like any other sharks out there, Shortfin mako sharks can also hunt for other sharks.
Great White Shark
The top two in our list is the Great white shark, known as the largest hunter impressive in the water with their bodies designed to reduce drag, meaning they are designed for swimming fast. Their recorded speed is at 25 mph, not that much of a difference with blue sharks, but even this little difference can still make a lot of difference between them. Great white sharks can efficiently hunt for their prey which is thanks to their speed.
They not only use their speed for hunting under the water, but they also use their speed to breach or leap out of the water to surprise their prey. They owned 300 serrated triangular teeth arranged in several rows; they are also blessed with an exceptional sense of smell. With these characteristics, they are truly the ocean's most impressive hunters. Their natural prey includes the other species of sharks, crustaceans, molluscs, and lastly are sea birds; hence they are very good at breaching.
Blue sharks are capable of reaching a length of nine or ten feet. Despite their size, they only hunt for small prey, and sometimes they prey for seals. With their astounding metallic blue backs, hence their name, their beautiful color helps them to camouflage out in the open ocean.
Blue sharks can be found worldwide in warm and temperate waters from the surface until 350 meters deep in the ocean.
They are considered apex predators in their ecosystem, or in other words, they are the top predators in their food chain. They mainly feed on small fishes that live in the open ocean; they also prey on the ones that live on the seafloor, which are the invertebrates such as squids.
Blue sharks are known for being the wolves of the ocean, with their speed of 24.5 mph, leaving a wide gap in speed with the whale shark, which is in the fifth place of our list; although blue sharks are given such nicknames, they are not aggressive at all.
Tiger sharks can reach about 10 to 14 feet in length, along with their weight of 1,400 pounds. They are considered to be one of the ocean's large and mighty animals. They have black stripes on their sides which are closely similar to a tiger's hence their name. Tiger sharks have a wide range of prey that they like to hunt and consume.
They are capable of preying on crabs, lobsters, shellfish, small sharks, rays, skates, porpoises, marine birds, turtles, and mammals. Meaning they are very efficient in adapting. With their ability to be a non-selective feeder, there is a high chance that these tiger sharks can attack humans unprovoked, which is why they are known for being one of the most dangerous sharks in the world. They can reach a speed of 20 mph with a short burst of speed that could only last for a few seconds.
Perfect with their aggressive nature, these tiger sharks have teeth designed for sharing their food, meaning when a tiger shark bites you, the damage they inflict is devastating. So, when you see a shark with black stripes on its side, it is safe to say that it is time for you to get out of the ocean.
At the bottom of our list, known to be the largest shark species with a whopping size of 65.6 feet, their maximum size is still unknown, so the chances of Whale sharks being bigger than 65 feet is very much possible. Although they are the largest species of shark, you cannot belittle the speed of these giants; they cruise around the ocean with a speed of 3 mph, and with their burst of speed, they are capable of reaching a speed of 6 mph, which is amazing already considering their massive size.
Whale sharks might be the biggest of all species of shark, and it would be really scary if you were to encounter one. At the same time, scuba diving or just casually swimming in the ocean. Still, there is no need to be scared of these giants because they do not pose any threat to us at all. Whale sharks are known to be gentle giants.
That is why instead of getting scared when witnessing one, you can take your time to admire these giants, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Along with their speed and big size, they also have a large mouth perfect for their filter-feeding. They swim near the ocean's surface with their huge mouths open.
How fast can a shark swim? These sharks on our list prove that there are instances that the size of an animal does not affect their speed because some of these massive animals have bodies designed to help their speed, an ability that makes them powerful and terrifying hunters for their prey. With the amazing speed of these sharks, it is no mind game why they are known as the greatest hunters of the ocean.
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