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5 Fastest Sharks In The World

There are more than 500 species of sharks in the world today and they are some of the best known predators around. Although most sharks typically swim around at a leisurely pace, some are capable of absolutely devastating bursts of speed which they use to great effect when hunting their prey.

Although some sharks are naturally built for speed, there are others that are surprising quick despite their appearance. But just how fast can they really swim? Join us as we discover the fastest sharks in the world!

#5 - Grey Reef Shark

One of the most agile and aggressive predators is the grey reef shark which can reach speeds of up to 31 mph in short bursts. Grey reef sharks are an endangered species of requiem shark.

They are native to the Indian and Pacific oceans where they typically live at depths of less than 200 feet. They frequently live around coral reefs, hence their name, and are generally considered to be one of the fastest swimmers in within their habitat.

Grey reef sharks have a streamlined body with a blunt snout and are no bigger than 8.5 feet long. They feed mainly on bony fish, squid, octopus, crabs, and lobsters. Grey reef sharks are particularly well known for their “threat displays” which involves adopting a “hunched” posture and swimming with an exaggerated side to side motion.

#4 - Great White Shark

Great White Shark

Easily the best known shark on the list and the one with the most notorious reputation is the great white. Great white sharks are considered to be the most dangerous of all sharks, given their unpredictable nature and their relatively high number of attacks on humans.

They can achieve speeds of up to 34 miles per hour probably isn’t a great comfort! Great whites are large mackerel sharks which can reach 20 feet in length and weigh up to 5,000 pounds. They inhabit virtually all oceans with water between 12 and 24°C. Great whites are apex predators and have a bite force of 4,000 psi. They eat a wide range of prey, including seals, fish, dolphins, porpoises, whales, turtles, and birds.

#3 - Blue Shark

long and slender bodies shark

Also known as the wolves of the sea, blue sharks can reach the impressive speed of 43mph. Although they generally appear to be fairly slow and lethargic, blue sharks attack their prey from below using a sudden burst of speed. Their main prey are squid, although they also eat fish, sea birds, and smaller sharks.

Blue sharks can reach 12 feet long and have a long and slender build. They inhabit deep temperate and tropical waters up to around 1,150 feet. Blue sharks are viviparous and give birth to up to 135 live young per litter. Blue sharks are typically preyed on by killer whales, great white sharks, and tiger sharks.

#2 - Salmon Shark

Coming in at a close second is the salmon shark which can reach speeds of up to 45mph. Although there have been reports of them attaining much higher speeds, these are widely disregarded as being inaccurate. Salmon sharks are generally around 10 feet long and are grey to black on their upper bodies and white below, often giving them the appearance of a great white. They are native to the north Pacific ocean where they are an apex predator. As their name suggests, salmon sharks regularly prey on salmon, although they also eat squid, herring, and sablefish.

#1 - Shortfin Mako Shark

Shortfin Mako fastest shark

The fastest shark in the world is the shortfin mako shark. Shortfin mako sharks have a cruising speed of 31 mph, but can attain 46 mph in short bursts. Shortfin mako sharks reach approximately 13 feet long and are blue on their dorsal side and white on their underside. They live in temperate and tropical oceans around the world but are an endangered species. Shortfin mako sharks eat a wide range of prey, including mackerel, tuna, porpoises, turtles, and other sharks. They use their speed to lunge upwards in the water towards their prey before their prey even notice them, biting their flanks and fins.

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