What ?

Shark Families!



We've talked about the different orders of sharks, how all sharks are grouped into 8 orders.

Within these orders are many different families of sharks, some sharks are totally different species from each other and found on opposite sides of the world separated by entier oceans, however they look almost identical and/or live in the same way or "occupying the same ecological niche".

Here we'll talk about a few of them, this will grow as the site grows.

-types of shark are there?

Choose a question -

Other Examples :

Order Lamniforme :

7 Families make up 15 or 16 species

- Mitsukurindae - Goblin sharks - Only one in its family.

- Odantaspidae - Sand Tiger or Raggy Tooth Sharks - 4 Species

- Pseudocarchariidae - Crocodile Shark - Only one in its family.

- Alopiidae - Thresher Sharks - 3 species

- Megachasmidae - Megamouth shark - only one in its family - new to science

- Cetorhinidae - Basking Shark - only one in its family

- Laminidae - 3 Species - including porbeagle, salmon shark and Great White


Well its late now, so I'll write more later - keep checking back - SharkyJones

We've already seen how the 8 orders make up the sharks. However within each order are a series of families. Some orders have many families, others have just a few.

The biggest Order is the Carcharhiniforme, of these the biggest family is the Requiem Shark Familiy or Carcharhinidae (yes I know it sounds like the name of their order so look out for confusion there).

Order - Carcharhiniforme - more than 215 species in total, split into several families, each having similar characteristics but looking VERY different

->Family - Requiem Sharks or Carcharinidae

Tiger Shark
Grey Reef Shark
Silvertip Shark
Blacktip Shark
Whitetip reef Shark

And there are MANY, MANY more sharks in the Carcharhinidae family, such as Galapagos Shark, Bull Shark, Oceanic Whitetip, Lemon shark, Blue Shark,


Within the order Carcharhiniforme there are several other families, some examples include :

Carcharhinidae - Requiem Sharks - A whole bunch of species in the family ? I must look this up?

Sphyrnidae - Hammerheads - 8 Species in the family

Hemigaleidae - Weasel Sharks - 7 Species in the family

Triakidae - Houndsharks - 37 Species of which the following families are Houndsharks

Proscylliidae - Finback Catsharks - 5 species

Scyliorhinidae - Catsharks - 105 species

I'm sure there are more families that make up the order Carcharhiniforme, however these are the ones I have found so far, see what you can find in books and on the web.

I'll draw some more of these families sometime soon to you can see just how different these guys actually are yet are in the same order.

The key thing to understand is that sharks are grouped by broad physical characteristics, yet may have totally different sizes and temperements from each other e.g. catsharks are small 1-3ft tropical bottom dwelling sharks many couldn't hurt a human if they wanted to , yet the Tiger shark can grow to 20ft and can be very dangerous.

The thing they all have in common is that they have : 5 gill slits, 2 dorsal fins, No fin spines, mouth behind front of eyes and nictitating membrane (like an eyelid).

So a tope (carcharhiniforme) looks much more like a piked dogfish (squaliforme) than a tiger shark (carcharhiniforme), except that dogfish has no nictitating membrane but has small spikes on its fins.

Notes to Self

Horn Shark

Port Jackson Shark


Bamboo Shark

Nurse Shark


Cartoon more carcharhiniforme - brown catshark / swellshark / graceful catshark / tope / leopardshark / weasel shark / bull / oceanic / lemon / blue / hammerheads


Lamniformes & orcetolobiformes