While many people may associate sharks with tropical climates and regions, these apex predators can be found throughout our globe. In fact, there are many shark species is areas that you may not expect. In this SharkSider article, we will go over the ways that temperature will affect where sharks live.
There are two ways that temperature affects where sharks live and migrate. The first way is sea surface temperature, which can be characterized by the various ocean regions. The other way is ocean depth temperature, which is categorized as shallow, deep, or open ocean waters.
The Three Regions That Sharks Inhabit
With that being said, sharks are classified into three regions: polar, temperate, and tropical. This classification is dependent on the surface temperature and region of the ocean that they inhabit. These temperature regions can be imagined as wide bands that are drawn over the ocean’s surface, displaying that various temperature ranges found within them. These temperatures found throughout the globe are attributed to the heat from the Sun. The heat hits the world’s oceans near the Equator, and is circulated throughout the ocean by currents. Because of this, some areas are naturally warmer than others. Let’s explore these three regions more thoroughly.
The Polar region encompasses the waters found near the north and south poles. These waters always stay at colder temperatures as you might have guessed. These water temperatures average around 5º C (41ºF). The sharks that live here include the pacific sleeper shark, black dogfish shark, and the Greenland sleeper shark, which is a unique species that has adapted to living under the icy sheets found in this part of the world.
Next is the Tropical region. This region houses the most complete list of shark species on the planet. These tropical waters average at about 21º C (69.8º F); a major difference from its polar counterpart. The shark species found in the tropical region include filter-feeders (whale shark, basking shark), hammerhead sharks, nurse sharks, and tiger sharks. Certain larger species of shark, including the whale shark, have been known to migrate to tropical regions throughout the world. Other large sharks, such as nurse sharks, are the complete opposite; preferring to stay in local, warm areas.
The last region where sharks live is the Temperate region. These waters are a mix between the frigid polar and the warm tropical water temperatures. The average temperature range for these Temperate regions is around 10º-21º C (50º-69.8º F). The sharks that live in these waters tend to migrate south in the winter and north in the summer as the seasons and food sources change. These sharks include sandbar sharks, as well as short fin mako sharks.
Visit SharkSider For More Information On Sharks!
In conclusion, temperature plays a significant role in determining where sharks live. If you would like more information on this subject, as well as information regarding the several shark species found on our planet, look no further than SharkSider! Our team of experts and shark enthusiasts has taken the time and care to provide you with extensive and interesting information on various shark species, including the hammerhead and the great white! Visit our website to find out more about where sharks live and how you can help keep these amazing creatures safe from harm.