Do shark have bones

Does a shark have bones? No, sharks do not have any bone and their body is entirely made up of cartilages. Many scientists are of the view that Sharks have cartilage skeletons. Sharks do not have bones and they filter oxygen from the water through their gills. Sharks do not contain bones but still, they can fossilize. They transfer calcium salts into their skeletal cartilage to strengthen them. The dried jaws of sharks are heavy and solid. The minerals present in the shark skeletal system help to fossilize nicely.

:arrow_right: Does Shark have bones?

Sharks lack bones and their body is made up of cartilages. In the following discussion below, we will discuss the important facts about the shark.

:dizzy: Facts about Shark:

:shark: 1: Shark have Skeletons:

As we know that the sharks do not have bones but they do have skeletons. The skeleton of a shark is quite different from other vertebrate species. Most muscles of sharks do not connect to skeletons.

:shark: 2: Shark skeleton made of Connective tissue:

The skeletons of sharks are made up of connective tissues and muscles. Sharks contain cartilaginous skeletons. Shark’s skeleton is made up of cartilage. Some cartilages in sharks are very strong as compared to the other cartilages and it feels like bones.

:shark: 3: Sharks have vertebrae:

Sharks also have vertebrae. They have a spinal cord, a backbone, and a notochord. The backbone of a shark is made up of cartilage while the backbones of humans are made up of column bones.

:shark: 4: Sharks have good eyesight:

Most sharks have good eyesight. They can see in darkness and have a fantastic night version. There is a reflective layer of tissue on the back of the shark called ‘tapetum’ which helps sharks to see in dark mode.

:shark: 5: Sharks have special electroreceptor organs:

There are black spots near the eye, mouth, and nose of sharks which are special electroreceptor organs that allow the sharks to sense temperature shifts in the ocean and electromagnetic fields.

:shark: 6: Sharkskin similar to sandpaper:

Sharkskin is very similar to sandpaper because it is made up of placoid scales which are tiny teeth-like structures that are also known as dermal denticles. These scales help to reduce friction when a shark swims.

:shark: 7: Sharks can go into a trance:

When a shark is flick upside down, it goes into a state called tonic immobility. Most sharks have the quality of tonic immobility.

:shark: 8: Sharks appearance:

Many scientists are of the view that sharks first appeared almost 455 million years ago. It means that sharks have been around us for a long time.

:shark: 9: Sharks age by counting the rings on vertebrae:

The vertebrae of sharks contain pairs of opaque and translucent bands. These pairs are enumerated like rings and then scientists allot an age to the shark root on counting. If the vertebrae have 10 pairs then their age is assumed to be 10 years. This assumption may be correct and it may be incorrect.

:shark: 10: Blue sharks:

The blue shark has a brilliant blue color on the upper portion of its body and is snowy beneath. Usually sharks are olive, brown, or grayish.

:shark: 11: Whale shark’s spot pattern:

The whale sharks are the biggest as compared to the other fishes. They can measure up to 12 meters in height and 40 tons in weight. The world’s second-largest shark is the Basking shark which may grow in size up to 32 feet in height and five tons in weight.

:shark: 12: Shark spiracle:

A spiracle of a shark is located behind the eyes and supplies oxygen to the shark’s brain and eyes. Some sharks use this respiratory organ to breathe. It can also be used for respiration when shark mouth is used for eating.

:shark: 13: All sharks do not have the same teeth:

Most sharks do not have the same teeth such as Mako sharks have pointed teeth and white sharks have triangular teeth.

:shark: 14: Sharks reproduce in different ways:

Sharks have a great diversity in reproductive modes. There are many species of shark which are egg-bearing while many species of sharks are live-bearing.

:arrow_right: What is a Shark?

:dizzy: Introduction:

Sharks belong to a group of elasmobranch fish. Sharks have a cartilaginous skeleton and they do not have any bone. There are many species of shark different in their sizes such as fully grown shark is 18cm long while Spined pygmy shark is 50 feet long. Many sharks are of the same size as people such as 5-7 feet long. There are varieties of body shapes of sharks such as some are streamlined while some have torpedo-shaped bodies. Some have flattened bodies while some have elongated body shapes. There are many species of sharks which number 368 and are divided into 30 families. These species have different sizes and different shapes. They have different colors, teeth, habitats, and diets.

:dizzy: History:

One of the oldest shark scales that is generally accepted is from 420 million years ago. These were from the Silurian period. The first sharks that were existed millions of years ago were very different from the modern sharks. The most common shark tooth in the present time is cladding. The modern sharks date back to 100 million years ago. One of the most ancient sharks is Cladoselache about 370 million years ago. It was only about 1-meter-long which had stiff triangular fins and slender jaws. The modern sharks appeared about 100 million years ago. The recent evolved family is the hammerhead shark that emerged in the Eocene. One of the oldest shark teeth is about 60 to 65 million years ago which is around the time of the extinction of dinosaurs.

:dizzy: Anatomy of Shark:

:shark: Teeth:

The teeth of the shark are embedded in the gums and not in the jaw. The teeth of sharks are constantly replaced throughout life. Some sharks lose 30000 or more teeth throughout their lifetime. The tooth replacement rate varies from every 8-10 days to several months. In most species, teeth are replaced at a time and not simultaneously, and are observed in the cookiecutter shark. The shape of the tooth depends on the diet of a shark. Those sharks that nourish on mollusks and crustaceans have compress and thick teeth which are used for squashing. Some have needle-like teeth which are used for gripping. Those that feed on mammals have pointed lower teeth.

:shark: Skeleton:

The skeleton of a shark is very different as compared to bony fishes and terrestrial vertebrates. Sharks have a skeleton made of cartilage and connective tissues. The cartilage present in sharks is flexible and durable which is about half of the density of bone. This cartilage reduces Skelton’s weight which helps to save energy. Sharks can easily be crushed on land because they do not have rib cages.

:shark: Jaw:

The jaws of sharks are not attached to the cranium like other rays and skates. The surface of the jaws needs extra support due to its heavy exposure to physical stress and its need for strength. A layer of tiny hexagonal plates is present called tesserae which are blocks of calcium salts and are arranged as a mosaic. These blocks give the strength same as is found in the bony tissues of other animals. Sharks generally have only one layer of tesserae but large sharks have two or three layers of tesserae such as bull shark, tiger shark, and white shark depending upon their size. The great white shark may have five layers of tesserae. In the snout, the cartilage may be flexible and spongy to absorb the power of impact.

:shark: Fins:

Fins skeletons are back by unsegmented rays called ceratotrichia and a filament of protein that contemplate like lustful keratin in hair and feathers. Most sharks contain eight fins. Sharks walk away from articles directly in front of an article because of their fins which do not permit them to drift in the tail-first direction.

:shark: Dermal Denticles:

Sharks have a dermal corset which is made of collagenous fibers and are arranged as a helical network surrounded their body. These dermal denticles work as an outer skeleton which provides attachment for their swimming muscles and helps in saving energy. The dermal teeth help to reduce turbulence when swimming.

:shark: Tails:

Tails help to provide acceleration, thrust and making speed depending on the shape of a tail. Sharks have a heterocercal caudal fin which has a dorsal portion larger than the ventral portion. This helps in more efficient locomotion among negative cartilaginous fishes. Most of the bony fishes have contains a homocercal caudal fin. The tiger sharks contain a larger upper lobe which helps in slow cruising and sudden burst of speed. The tiger sharks twist and turn in the water easily when hunting.

:dizzy: Senses of Shark:

:shark: Smell:

Sharks contain olfactory senses which are located in the short duct between the anterior and posterior nasal openings. The size of these bulbs varies differently in different species of sharks. The size is dependent on how a species relies on smell to find its prey. Shark species have larger olfactory bulbs in the environment having low visibility. Sharks have smaller olfactory bulbs in an environment having high visibility. The sharks that are found in deep water have also large olfactory bulbs. Sharks have the quality to determine the direction of a scent which is based on the timing of scent detection. This quality of sharks is similar to most mammals finding the direction of the sound.

:shark: Sight:

The eyes of sharks are similar to the eyes of other vertebrates which include similar lenses, corneas, and retinas. With the help of a tissue called tapetum lucidum through which their eyesight is well adapted to the marine environment. This tissue is present behind the retina which reflects light to it that increases visibility in the dark waters. The sharks contain eyelids but they do not blink. It is because the surrounding water cleans their eyes. Some species of sharks have nictitating membranes which protect their eyes. This membrane also protects the eyes when a shark is hunting or is being attacked.

:shark: Hearing:

Sharks may have a sharp sense of hearing and can hear from miles away. A small opening present on each side of their head leads into the inner air. The lateral line opens to the environment through a series of openings called lateral line pores. These two vibrations are grouped as the acoustic-lateralis system.

:shark: Electroreception:

The electroreceptive organs present in the shark are the ampullae of Lorenzini. They may be hundreds to thousands in numbers. Sharks use these organs through which they detect the electromagnetic fields that all living things produce. This helps sharks to find their prey. As compared to the other animals, the shark has the greatest electrical sensitivity. Sharks can find prey in sands through the electric fields which they produce. Sharks can also use ocean currents moving in the magnetic field of the earth for navigation.

:shark: Lateral line:

It is a sensory system that allows animals to detect the speed of water and pressure changes. This sensory system is present in many animals including sharks. This provides help to the shark to differentiate between the currents around them. The sharks can sense frequencies up to the range of 25 to 50 MHz.


The sharks contain olfactory bulbs which help them to sense things from far away. A tissue present in a shark called tapetum lucidum helps the shark to have a powerful sight even in dark waters. Sharks can hear things by using their sense of electroreception.

:dizzy: Reproduction in Shark:

Most sharks are k-selected reproducers which means that they produce a small quantity of well-developed young sharks that may reproduce ranges from 2-100 young per reproductive cycle. As compared to other fishes, sharks mature slowly and gradually.

:shark: Sexual reproduction:

Most sharks practice internal fertilization. The process of mating has rarely been observed in sharks. In most of the less flexible species, the sharks swim parallel to each other and the male produces a clasper into the female oviduct. The male may also bite the female shark to show his interest. Most of the female species have thicker skins to withdraw these bites.

:shark: Asexual Reproduction:

There are various cases in which the female shark who has not been in contact with a male shark has experience a pup through parthenogenesis. The brief details of such a process are still not well understood. This conduct in the wild is still mysterious. Scientists are of the view that asexual reproduction in the wild is very rare.

:arrow_right: Frequently Asked Questions:

1: How many bones are present in the shark’s body?

The sharks do not have any bones and the body of the shark is made entirely of cartilage. Cartilage is that organ that is found in the ear lobe of human beings.

2: Which fish has no bones?

The shark is one of the fish that do not have bones and its body is made up of cartilage. This category of fishes also includes rays, sawfish, and skates.

3: Which shark has the most teeth?

Sharks have fifteen rows of teeth in the jaw on average. However, the bull shark is one of the species which have 50 rows of teeth having seven teeth in each row.

4: Which organ helps the shark to float?

In most bony fishes, there are swim bladders that help them to float in water. But unfortunately, sharks do not have swim bladders and they have a unique adaption to life in the oceans.

5: Are shark teeth valuable?

The teeth of the shark are valuable like most other fossils. They can be bought, sold, and traded by many collectors.

6: Do sharks like being petted?

Yes, sharks love to be petted. A shark cannot feel the sensation of human touch.

7: Do sharks have a Tongue?

Sharks have a tongue that is referred to as basihyal. It is a small, thick piece of cartilage that is located on the floor of the mouth of many fishes including sharks. It may also be appeared useless for many sharks except cookiecutter sharks.

8: Can a shark smell period blood?

Any fluid which is released into the water is detectable by sharks. The sense of shark is very powerful which allows them to find anything from yards away. The menstrual blood if produce in water can be detected by a shark.

9: Can sharks smell fear?

No, sharks do not smell fear and they have nostrils which they use to smell. The sharks can smell blood from yards away.

10: Why are sharks oily?

The cartilaginous fishes use oil for their buoyancy. This oil lightens the heavy body of the shark to save energy and keep it from sinking.


Sharks do not have bones and their entire body is made up of cartilages. Shark is considered to be evolved millions of years ago. Sharks have unique characteristics. They have a high sensibility of smell and hearing. They have a powerful sense of smell and can detect many fluids in the water. They hear signals through electroreception. As compared to the other bony fishes, sharks have many rows of teeth which are valuable and can be brought, sold, and trade.

Related Articles: