The Mediterranean Sea is home to a variety of wildlife, from dolphins and dugongs in the depths to seabirds soaring up above. But what about these top predators of the ocean? Are there sharks swimming around beneath the saltwater surface? With some species capable of reaching lengths over 12 meters, it’s no wonder that we can’t help but be curious about where and how many sharks inhabit this diverse yet mysterious body of water.
So, are there sharks in the Mediterranean Sea? This blog post will answer that question by exploring the different types of sharks typically found in the region and examining their behavior towards humans. By the end, you’ll have a better understanding of the Mediterranean’s shark population and be able to enjoy its wonders with greater confidence.
The Mediterranean Sea is an important geographic feature, borders a large number of countries across the continent, and connects the Atlantic Ocean to Europe, Asia, and North Africa. This region has been an important trade route for centuries and the sea itself is home to more than 17 native shark species. The area is also known for its diverse range of marine life and both temperate and tropical climates, making it a desirable holiday destination.
Does the Mediterranean Sea have sharks?
The answer is yes, with more than 17 species of sharks currently living in the Mediterranean Sea waters. The most common types include Hammerheads, Blue sharks, Mako sharks, Blacktip sharks, and more.
Types of sharks in the Mediterranean Sea
Hammerheads are part of the Sphyrnidae family, which includes nine species. These sharks inhabit tropical and temperate waters, making them a common sight in the Mediterranean Sea. They can be up to 6 meters in length and have a distinct cephalofoil (hammer-shaped head) which is used to locate their prey.
The Blue Shark (Prionace glauca) is one of the most widespread species of shark and can be found in all types of oceans, including the Mediterranean Sea. It has an unmistakable blue-gray coloration and can grow to lengths over 3 meters. This type of shark prefers cooler waters and feeds primarily on fish and squid.
Another species of shark found in the Mediterranean Sea is the Shortfin Mako (Isurus oxyrinchus). It’s a large, fast-swimming species of shark with an average size of up to 3.5 meters long and can be identified by its distinct white underbelly. Mako sharks are known for their impressive jumps out of the water, which can reach heights up to 9 meters!
The Blacktip Shark (Carcharhinus limbatus) is common in the Mediterranean Sea and can be identified by its pointed snout and black tip on its fins. These sharks prefer warmer waters and can grow to lengths of over 1.5 meters. Blacktip Sharks are typically found in large schools and feed on small fish, squid, and crustaceans.
Great White Shark
Although the Great White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias) is not commonly found in the Mediterranean Sea, there have been a few sightings in recent years. This species prefers cooler waters and can grow to lengths of up to 6 meters!
Sand Tiger Shark
The Sand Tiger Shark (Carcharias taurus) is another species of shark that is sometimes seen in the Mediterranean Sea. It has an unmistakable dark-brown coloration with a single dorsal fin and can grow up to 3 meters long! Its diet consists mainly of fish, squid, crustaceans, and occasionally other sharks.
Bluntnose Sixgill Shark
The Bluntnose Sixgill Shark (Hexanchus griseus) is a deep-sea species of shark and is occasionally seen in the Mediterranean Sea. This species has an elongated body, six gills, and a blunt snout. It can reach lengths of up to 4 meters and feeds primarily on fish, squid, octopus, and crustaceans.
Are Mediterranean sharks dangerous?
The Mediterranean Sea is home to a variety of shark species, some of which have been known to attack humans in rare cases. While encounters with sharks are not common, it’s important to remember that all sharks have the potential to be dangerous; however, most species found in this region are generally non-aggressive and prefer to avoid human contact. It is also important to note that unprovoked attacks by any type of shark are incredibly rare and proper precautions should always be taken when swimming in the open waters of the Mediterranean Sea.
The Mediterranean Sea is home to a wide variety of shark species, ranging from the popular Hammerhead and Blue sharks to the rarely seen Great White and Bluntnose Sixgill sharks. While encounters with these species are rare, it is important to remember that all sharks have the potential to be dangerous and proper precautions should always be taken when swimming in the open waters of the Mediterranean Sea.