tAASharks are one of the deep sea’s top predators, and they live in an environment with plenty of food. That’s because they have a diverse diet that includes fish, squid, crustaceans, and other marine life. Most shark species live for 20-30 years, but some can live for much longer, depending on their environment and the type of shark. In this article we learn about some of the longest living sharks found in the oceans, including one that can live for hundreds of years!
9 Longest living sharks
1. Greenland shark
- Scientific Name: Somniosus microcephalus
- Lifespan: 250 – 500 years
Greenland sharks are large sea creatures that live in the cold waters of the Arctic Ocean, North Atlantic, and the high Russian Arctic. It is one of the largest shark species to have ever existed, growing to a height of 7.9–14.1 feet and weighing 1,500–2,200 pounds. Some members of this species have been discovered to be more than 500 years old, making it one of the longest-living animals on the planet.
These sharks usually have blind eyes and swim at a rate of about a mile per hour. Greenland sharks are top predators that eat a wide range of prey, including fish, invertebrates, and large animals.
2. Whale Sharks
- Scientific Name: Rhincodon typus
- Lifespan: 70 – 100 years
Whale sharks are the largest fish in the ocean. When fully matured, they can grow to be 40 feet long and weigh up to 21 tons. Their bodies are grayish or bluish, with a white underbelly and white spots on their backs.
Whale sharks can be found in warm tropical waters all over the world. Their habitat includes everything from shallow coral reefs to deep ocean trenches. These sharks swim slowly and feed on plankton and other small marine creatures.
Whale sharks aren’t only the largest fish in the ocean, but they also move slowly compared to other fish and are known to travel thousands of miles in search of food.
3. Great White Shark
- Scientific Name: Carcharodon carcharias
- Lifespan: 30 to 70 years
The great white shark is one of the most recognizable predators on the planet. Great white sharks are carnivores that eat other marine life, such as fish and seals. They can be found in all oceans, but prefer coastal and offshore waters with temperatures ranging from 54 to 75 degrees F.
These sharks have powerful tails and are streamlined, allowing them to swim at speeds of up to 56 km/h. Their jaws contain 300 serrated teeth that can rip through almost anything. They also have an incredibly sensitive sense of smell, allowing them to detect a drop of blood from hundreds of meters away.
4. Spiny Dogfish
- Scientific Name: Squalus acanthias
- Lifespan: 30 to 70 years
The Spiny Dogfish is a small, slim shark with white spots that lives in the North Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It has a long snout and a double dorsal fin with a sharp venomous spine at each front, which led up to the shark’s name. These venomous spines are primarily used for self-defense and will arch at any predator that approaches them.
The majority of their diet consists of small fish, squid, shrimp, and other crustaceans and invertebrates. They hunt at night, using their sense of smell to find prey, and they usually hunt in groups. Spiny dogfish are bottom dwellers that can be found at depths ranging from 50 to 149 meters.
5. Tiger Shark
- Scientific Name: Galeocerdo cuvier
- Lifespan: 27 – 50 years
Tiger sharks are among the most dangerous sharks on the planet. They can be found in nearly all tropical and warm temperate waters worldwide. This shark is distinguished by its distinct color pattern, which consists of a gray body with dark gray spots or vertical bars.
They’re large animals that can grow to be 14 feet long and weigh over 1,400 pounds. Crustaceans, squids, fish, small sharks, and even marine birds and mammals are common prey for these sharks. Tiger sharks are one of the shark species known as ‘man-eaters,’ and they can swim at speeds of up to 20 mph.
6. Dusky Shark
- Scientific Name: Carcharhinus obscurus
- Lifespan: 25 – 50 years
The dusky shark is a type of requiem shark, which are shark capable of killing large prey. This species can be found in tropical and warm-temperate waters throughout the world, though it is most common in beach areas of Australia and South Africa.
This shark has a short, rounded snout, small eyes, and triangular, serrated teeth. The body is gray or brownish-gray with a white ventral side. They’re slow-maturing animals, reaching adulthood at the age of 20 and living for up to 50 years.
7. School Shark
- Scientific Name: Galeorhinus galeus
- Lifespan: 50 – 60 years
The school shark is a small shark species found in warm tropical waters. They can grow to be 6 ft long and 25 kg in weight. It is commonly found in shallow coastal waters and surf lines in temperate waters.
They have slender bodies that are gray or brown on top and white on the bottom. School sharks also have large eyes, mouths, and fins that are typically harvested by humans. The school shark’s diet is primarily composed of fish, squids, and other invertebrates.
- Scientific Name: Lamna nasus
- Lifespan: 40 – 65 years
The porbeagle shark is a marine species found in the Atlantic Ocean, usually in the cold marshy zones of the open sea. During the winter, they can be seen in deep waters, and during the summer, they may come close to the surface.
This shark has a spindly body, a conical snout, and crescent-shaped tails that allow it to swim quickly through the water. They have a top speed of 20 miles per hour and are considered an apex predator (the top predator in their ecosystem) in their habitat.
In addition to being an apex predator, this shark is an opportunistic hunter who will eat almost anything it comes across. Their diet consists of fish, shellfish, and other small sharks.
9. Basking shark
- Scientific Name: Cetorhinus maximus
- Lifespan: 32 – 50 years
The basking shark, also known as the bone shark, is a large filter-feeding shark found in temperate and boreal waters worldwide, at depths ranging from 200 to 2,000 meters. Basking sharks are the world’s second-largest fish, reaching up to 26 feet in length and weighing up to 6 tons.
They have long, slender snouts and large gills that almost completely surround their heads. Basking sharks use these gills to filter water from their food, such as plankton.
During the mating season, these species have been observed jumping out of the water, which is usually done by the females.