Q:

How many sharks are there in the world?

A:

Quick Answer

There are approximately 470 known species of shark in the world, but it's impossible to count the exact number of individual sharks on the planet. World Wildlife Fund estimates that more than 100 million sharks are killed each year for their fins.

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How many sharks are there in the world?
Credit: Jeff Kubina CC-BY-2.0

Full Answer

As part of its shark monitoring program, WWF has identified more than 450 whale sharks and has tagged almost 30. Sharks, like other predatory species, reproduce slowly and in smaller quantities than other fish, which are prey species that rely on high reproductive rates to continue their species. Shark populations are dropping because of pollution, over-fishing of their food sources and habitat alteration.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How big was the biggest great white shark ever?

    A:

    The Canadian Shark Research Center reports that the largest accurately measured great white shark on record was a 20.3-foot-long female caught off Prince Edward Island in 1983. A great white shark said to have measured 21 feet was caught off Cuba in 1945, but this measurement has been disputed.

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  • Q:

    Is shark meat safe to eat?

    A:

    Shark meat can be eaten by humans, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends limiting consumption to once or twice a month. Shark liver should not be eaten, as it contains toxic levels of some vitamins.

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  • Q:

    Is a whale shark a mammal?

    A:

    Whale sharks are fish, not mammals. According to an article by Jennifer Kennedy on About.com, the whale sharks are the largest fish in the world. They grow as long as 65 feet and weigh up to 75,000 pounds. Female whale sharks are generally larger than males.

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    How many teeth do tiger sharks have?

    A:

    Tiger sharks have a row of 24 teeth in their upper jaw and a matching set of 24 teeth in the lower jaw, totaling 48 teeth. Tiger sharks have a square jaw structure, and each of their teeth are built with cutting and sawing mechanisms.

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