Elasmobranch Record Holders


Claim to Fame Winner Record
Largest Shark (length) Whale Shark
(Rhincodon typus)
50+ ft (15 + m)
Largest Predatory Shark (length) White Shark
(Carcharodon carcharias)
23+ ft (7+ m)
Largest Batoid (length) Green Sawfish
(Pristis zijsron)
24 ft (7.3 m)
Largest Batoid (width) Manta Ray
(Manta birostris)
22 ft (6.7 m)
Smallest Shark (length) Dwarf Lanternshark
(Etmopterus perryi)
7.5 in (19 cm)
Smallest Batoid (width) Narcinid Electric Ray?
(family Narcinidae)
6 in (15 cm)
Most Abundant Shark (sheer numbers) Spiny Dogfish?
(Squalus acanthias)
caught in ridiculous quantities
Most Rare Shark Tie: 14 + species known from a single specimen
Most Widely Distributed Elasmobranch Blue Shark
(Prionace glauca)
worldwide, pelagic, boreal to tropical seas
Least Widely Distributed Elasmobranch Port Davey Skate
(Raja sp.) - recently discovered
restricted to two estuarine bays in southwestern Tasmania
Strangest Shark (subjective) Tassled Wobbegong
(Eucrossorhinus dasypogon)
too weird for words
Most Weirdly Colored Shark (subjective) Goblin Shark
(Mitsukurina owstoni)
bubblegum pink
Most Brightly Luminescent Shark Cookiecutter Shark
(Isistius brasiliensis)
can read by its greenish bioluminescence
Biggest Hammer (relative to size) Winghead Shark
(Eusphyra blochii)
boomerang-shaped, width about 50% body length
Flattest Shark (least height in proportion to length) Tie: Wobbegongs
(family Orectolobidae)
& Angel Sharks
(family Squatinidae)
both are very flat
Longest Tail (relative to body) Common Thresher Shark
(Alopias vulpinus)
up to 52% of total length
Largest Teeth (absolute size) White Shark
(Carcharodon carcharias)
up to 2 in (5.2 cm) tall
Largest Teeth (relative to size) Largetooth Cookiecutter
(Isistius plutodus)
lower teeth proportionally twice as large as in White Shark
Largest Eyes (relative to size) Bigeye Thresher Shark
(Alopias superciliosus)
diameter up to 4% body length - proportionally the largest eyes of any non-avian vertebrate
Most Widely Traveled Shark Blue Shark
(Prionace glauca)
3,470 mi (5,980 km) (tagging returns)
Deepest-Dwelling Shark (capture depth) Portuguese Shark
(Centroscymnus coelolepis)
12,060 ft (3,675 m)
Shallowest-Dwelling Shark Epaulette Shark
(Hemiscyllium ocellatum)
hunts in intertidal pools, several yards (metres) above sea level
Deepest-Dwelling Batoid (capture depth) Rajid Skate?
9,840 ft (3,000 m)
Fastest Shark (greatest recorded) Shortfin Mako Shark
(Isurus oxyrinchus)
35+ mph (56+ kph) swimming speed
Highest Leaping Shark (height above water surface) Shortfin Mako Shark
(Isurus oxyrinchus)
reputedly to 20 ft (6 m)
Highest Leaping Batoid (height above water surface) Manta Ray
(Manta birostris)
reputedly to 20 ft (6 m)
Most Elevated Body Temperature Salmon Shark
(Lamna ditropis)
up to 20˚F (11˚C) above ambient
Showiest Leaping Shark Spinner Shark
(Carcharhinus brevipinna)
spins on its axis, 2 to 4 times in mid-air
Sharpest Hearing Shark (determined via experiment) Silky Shark
(Carcharhinus falciformis)
has homed in on low-frequency sounds from at least 1/4 mi (400 m) away
Sharpest Sighted Shark (in theory, at least) White Shark
(Carcharodon carcharias)
cone-to-rod ratio of 1:4 (about the same as in humans)
Sharpest Electrosensitivity (experiment) Smooth Dogfish
(Mustelus canis)
0.008 nV/in2 (0.05 nV/cm2)
Most Powerfully Electrogenic Batoid Atlantic Torpedo Ray
(Torpedo nobiliana)
220 V
Most Specialized Diet (stomach contents) Crested Bullhead Shark
(Heterodontus galeatus)
feeds mostly on red sea urchins
Least Specialized Diet (stomach contents) Tiger Shark
(Galeocerdo cuvier)
feeds on almost anything it can swallow
Most Dangerous Shark (# of documented attacks) White Shark
(Carcharodon carcharias)
over 212 attacks unprovoked (50 fatalities)
Most Dangerous Shark (suspected of many more than documented) Bull Shark
(Carcharhinus leucas)
57 documented unprovoked attacks
Most Poisonous Flesh (causing illness) Greenland Shark
(Somniosus microcephalus)
must be boiled in several changes of water before eating
Tastiest Flesh (subjective) juvenile White Shark
(Carcharodon carcharias)
Largest Litter (oviparous) Whale Shark
(Rhincodon typus)
about 300 eggs in one individual
Largest Litter (viviparous) Blue Shark
(Prionace glauca)
135 pups in one individual
Smallest Litter Sandtiger Shark
(Carcharias taurus)
two pups/litter, one per uterus (fetuses are cannibals)
Longest Gestation Period Frilled Shark
(Chlamydoselache anguineus)
3.5 years
Shortest Gestation Period Grey Bambooshark
(Chiloscyllium griseum)
70 to 80 days @ 77˚F (25˚C)
Longest Lifespan (experiment) Spiny Dogfish
(Squalus acanthias)
70+ years
Most Star Appeal Great White Shark
(Carcharodon carcharias)
Would you really buy a book about dogfish?


ReefQuest Centre for Shark Research
Text and illustrations R. Aidan Martin
Copyright | Privacy