CPR First Aid

Which Species Are Most Likely to Result in Shark Attacks?

While not all that common, shark attacks are still a very serious and possibly fatal occurrence. Learn more about the species of sharks most likely to attack.

Very few things are as enjoyable as a relaxing day on the beach. 

Unfortunately, the beach holds many dangers that can serve to ruin a perfectly good day. What’s worse is that these dangers lay under the waters, biding their time until they take a big bite on an otherwise great experience.

One of these dangers is shark attacks. These fish are swift and ferocious, often stalking their prey until it is too late. 

In truth, there are over 300 species throughout the world. However, only a few of these species openly attack humans. It’s these species that we’ll be taking a closer look at. 

Let’s learn more about the types of sharks most likely to attack. 

The State of Sharks

When looking at the statistics on shark attacks , a person could look it and assume that they aren’t all that serious. On average, just over 70 attacks happen each year, with about a tenth of those attacks proving fatal. 

In 2020, Australia saw over 20 attacks. This comprises approximately 40% of all attacks. 

While attacks from this ferocious fish can happen at any time, there is a period where they happen more often. It takes place in the months between November and April. 

The long coasts of Australia play home to over 170 species. On an interesting note, all species that are known for attacking when unprovoked are also found in Australia

The Shark Misconception

While obviously dangerous, people often mistake the shark for a monstrous and hungry creature. This is a misconception. The truth is that sharks aren’t dangerous to people, at least not directly. Just like many other creatures, they share a healthy fear of people. 

Oftentimes, confusion and curiosity are found as the cornerstones for attacks. Other marine biologists suspect that the encroachment on their habitats, as well as the warming of waters and changes in water quality, has driven them closer to the shores.

It is important to understand which species are most likely to attack as this can help people take the necessary precautions. That being said, here are the top five species that attack humans.

Species Most Likely to Result in Shark Attacks

Tiger Shark

Easily, one of the most dangerous species in the world is the tiger shark. Reaching lengths of up to 16 feet (4.9 metres), the tiger shark gets its name from the stripes found on its body. 

The colouring of a tiger shark can be grey, blue, or green with a white belly.

The tiger shark is one of the very few species that will eat just about anything. This includes other shark species, dolphins, seals, birds, and even garbage. They’ve been known to eat tires, licence plates, and other inedible objects.

While typically not aggressive towards humans, they are known to attack when provoked or confused. There have been 111 attacks with 16 fatalities since 1950.

Easily, one of the most dangerous species in the world is the tiger shark. Reaching lengths of up to 16 feet (4.9 metres), the tiger shark gets its name from the stripes found on its body. 

Great White Shark

This species is probably the most popular one. This is most likely due to the movie Jaws. It is also one of the most dangerous. They are often to blame for attacks on humans as they’re known to be curious and will often test their boundaries.

The great white shark is found in all major oceans around the world. They prefer colder waters near the coastline where they can hunt for their prey. They can grow to be 20 feet (6 metres) long but typically average at 15 feet (4.6 metres)

There have been 314 attacks by great white with 48 fatalities since 1950.

This species is probably the most popular one. This is most likely due to the movie Jaws. It is also one of the most dangerous. They are often to blame for attacks on humans as they’re known to be curious and will often test their boundaries.

Shortfin Mako Shark

The shortfin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus of Family Lamnidae) is one of the fastest sharks in the world and can swim up to 22 mph (35 km/h). Its other names are Blue Pointer, Mackerel Shark, Mako, Mako Shark, Longfin Mako, and Snapper Shark. They are known to be pelagic sharks because they are found in open oceans, temperate waters, and major fisheries in Australia. They also live in other parts of the world such as the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic, California, and New Zealand.

The reproductive cycle takes three years with a gestation period of 15 to 18 months. Developing embryos feed on unfertilised eggs within the uterus. When they grow, they become carnivores and feed on other fish, sea turtles, swordfish, cephalopods, bonitos, bony fishes, and even their species. Their bodies also have a specialised blood vessel structure (countercurrent exchanger) which allows them to maintain a body temperature higher than the surrounding water. This adaptation provides them with a major advantage when hunting in the sea. So they are also popular for being big predators in their ecosystem. Resources of natural history state that the lifespan of these pelagic species may take 30 years or more.

They have a pointed snout, gill slits, long slender teeth, caudal fin, pectoral fins, and dorsal fins. They can grow to be 12 feet (3.7 metres) long but typically average at 8 feet (2.4 metres). The body colour is similar to that of the Blue Shark (Prionace Glauca).

Such marine mammals are known to be acrobatic and jump out of the water. This skill allows them to attack boats but also makes them sought-after bycatch game fish by commercial fisheries because they can get into hooks through longline fishing gears. It has become part of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and NOAA’s list of endangered species indicating that it is vulnerable to extinction.

There have been 27 attacks by the shortfin mako with 4 fatalities since 1950.

The shortfin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus of Family Lamnidae) is one of the fastest sharks in the world and can swim up to 22 mph (35 km/h). Its other names are Blue Pointer, Mackerel Shark, Mako, Mako Shark, Longfin Mako, and Snapper Shark. They are known to be pelagic sharks because they are found in open oceans, temperate waters, and major fisheries in Australia.

Bull Shark

The bull shark is one of the most aggressive in the world. Apart from the great white, it is often considered to be the most dangerous. These are found in warm waters around the globe and prefer coastal waters. 

They can grow to be 11 feet (3.4 metres) long but typically average at 7 feet (2.1 metres).

The bull species are carnivores and feed on fish, squid, and birds. They’re known to be aggressive and will attack anything that they see as a threat. This includes humans.

There have been 100 attacks by this species with 12 fatalities since 1950.

The bull shark is one of the most aggressive in the world. Apart from the great white, it is often considered to be the most dangerous. These are found in warm waters around the globe and prefer coastal waters. 

Blacktip Shark

The blacktip shark is found in warm coastal waters around the world. They prefer shallow waters near the shore where they can hunt for fish. They can grow to be 9 feet (2.7 metres) long but typically average at 6 feet (1.8 metres).

The blacktip shark is identified by its long, pointed nose and black-tipped fins. The colouring is generally grey with a white belly. The blacktip is a carnivore and feeds primarily on fish.

There have been 31 attacks by blacktip with 3 fatalities since 1950.

The blacktip shark is found in warm coastal waters around the world. They prefer shallow waters near the shore where they can hunt for fish. They can grow to be 9 feet (2.7 metres) long but typically average at 6 feet (1.8 metres).

Towards an Enjoyable Day at the Beach

While shark attacks are rare, it is no less serious than a venomous spider bite

If you are ever attacked and bitten by a shark, it is important to stay calm, get out of the water, and seek medical attention immediately.

If you are keen on protecting yourself and your loved ones from potential attacks, it is best to learn about relevant first aid practices . Understanding the different species related to attacks and the right first aid practices takes you a step closer to enjoying your day at the beach.

Learn everything you need to know with CPR First Aid’s Liverpool course today.

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