Published on May 1st, 2023 📆 | 3416 Views ⚑


How many bones do sharks have? Fascinating facts about sharks

There are over 500 species of sharks  swimming in the deep blue sea. The ocean's apex predator has been around for a very long time with its ancestors dating back to approximately 455 million years ago, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 

Each shark species has its unique way of life and some differ drastically from others. So, does this mean that each shark is built differently as well? 

Here is what you need to know about a shark's body, as well as other interesting facts about the fish, such as its diet.

How many bones do sharks have?

Sharks do not have bones. Sharks are "elasmobranchs," meaning they are made of cartilaginous tissues. 

Other elasmobranchs include rays, sawfish and skates. These types of fish are lighter than others since cartilage is around half the density of bone, according to Discovery UK. 

An elasmobranch's low density helps with buoyancy and prevents them fromsinking. Sharks have livers filled with low-density oils, further aiding buoyancy, according to NOAA. 

Are shark teeth bone or cartilage?Understanding the body composition of the ocean's apex predator

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Are sharks mammals? 

Sharks are not mammals; they are fish.

Some sharks give birth by laying eggs, while others give birth to live young — these sharks are "viviparous" just like humans. Similar to a mammal's umbilical cord, viviparous sharks develop a placental connection to their babies. This leaves some sharks with "belly buttons" after they are born.

Lemon sharks, bull sharks, mako sharks and blue sharks are among those that give birth to live young. 

The remainder of sharks are "oviparous," meaning they lay eggs. 

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What do sharks eat?

With over 500 species of sharks, each has its own specific diet. Most sharks feed on small fish and invertebrates, while larger sharks often eat seals, sea lions and other marine mammals, according to NOAA. 

If you are wondering if sharks eat humans, it does not happen often. While sharks have been known to attack humans, this is often due to confusion or curiosity. Sharks do not actively look to attack humans.

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