Do sharks have bones?

Do sharks have bones? No sharks do not have bones they have cartilage. This can also be termed as a type of endoskeleton that also forms connections among the body and helps in flexible movements especially attributing to it’s softer nature than hard bones.
These sharks are made of cartridge still they can be fossilised. With time the salts keep on depositing the structure making it stronger thus the remains of the sharks can be preserved buried in the grounds as fossils. These remains tell so much about their existence in the historic times.

What is cartilage?

Do sharks have bones? No. If you do not understand what cartilage is them look at your earliest and soft part of the nose. The structure is classic example of cartilage. The joints movement is made possible because of cartilage. Without any doubt that the upright structure given to humans or sturdiness in any other animal with endoskeleton is because of bones. Lets say that if entire body is made out of bones which are hard structure then movement was definitely not possible. The cartridge makes it happen by giving a firm and moveable space. These sharks in this scenario are animals whose entire body is made up of cartridge. Shark’s body has to swim in water so bones are very heavy for them to lift the body. The teeth are still strong because they have enamel on them and they are dry.

Eyesight of sharks

The eyesight of sharks is very well developed. This is evident from the fact that they can see very well the dark lighted areas. Sharks are able to differentiate among the colours. The eyes have a tissue layer called tapetum which helps in reflecting on its surface this giving sharks the ability to see even if the light is minimal


Electroreception is attained by sharks when they are able to sense the different temperatures around them and any electromagnetic field around them. The special organs for this purpose are present in the form of a black spot at the back of their nose, mouth and eyes are called ampullae of Lorenzini.

Skin of shark

It will be interesting for you to know that the texture of a shark’s skin is similar to that of sandpaper. This looks like special teeth like pointed structures all over the skin called dermal denticles or placoid scales. Their direction is towards the tail which helps in reducing the friction when it is moving through the water.

Trance in sharks

Sharks can go into tonic immobility that only happens when it is being flipped over. It is also called trance or animal hypnosis. Animal is motionless and it’s mechanism is not well known. Its purpose can be for mating or as a defense against predators that they are playing ■■■■ to fool. The technique is employed by scientist in sawfish that they flip it over to work on it.

History of existence of sharks

It is certain that there have been fossil evidence of the sharks. The age of the shark is revealed that the existence for shark have been ever since 450 million years. The evidence were found in United States and Australia

Age of sharks

You know that the trees form rings of ■■■■ cells around which tells their age. Similarly is the case with sharks but the band of rings in pairs is formed around their vertebrae which are translucent and opaque. For instance having ten pairs of rings then shark is ten years old. The assumption maybe incorrect in some cases because the rate at which these rings are formed may differ in species. There are further evidences and studies are needed to assume the age of shark. It is called ‘validation’ which is assuming the age of sharks on the basis of the rate at which rings are formed around the vertebrae.

Blue sharks

The name blue shark given to a kind of shark is not vague rather it is because of their actual blue color and the lighter white colour underneath. The other colours displayed by species of shark is grayish, Olive colour and brown.

Spots pattern in sharks

There are pattern of spots over the sharks which is unique to every animal in the specie just like the fingerprint. This exists only among the whale sharks. And these whale sharks are the biggest creature in ocean. The length of these sharks can grow up to 12.2 meters and they can weigh around 40 tons. Second one in size is basking shark which is measures 32 meters in length and 5 tons in weight.

Breathing in sharks

This is a known phenomenon that sharks like all other fishes breathe through their gills. This process occurs when water is taken inside their gills and their respiratory system takes the oxygen from it. Among sharks the task is done from a spiral present in their body which takes water inside them while resting. Else the sharks are always moving because this pulls the water inside their system. Location of this spiral is behind the eye so that the brain and eyes get enough supply of oxygen. There are some species which tend to stay close to the bottom of the sea who also use this system for keeping the oxygen supply sufficient. It can also be helpful for a shark when it is eating.

Shark teeth

The pointy teeth of the sharks are the ones that give them their predator feature. Teeth are of different nature among the sharks. For example the Mako sharks teeth are very pointed while white shark have serrated triangular teeth. When they attack their prey every specie of shark will leave a different pattern on them. The count of these teeth also keep on increasing over the time. A sandbar shark can have up to 35000 teeth in its entire life span.

Reproduction in sharks.

There are variety of specie in sharks and so is their life of reproduction. Some may lay eggs called oviparous and live bearing called viviparous. The female shark will lay the eggs and it will hatch outside the body of mother. After the young ones come out there is no paternal care.

Skeleton of sharks

There is one thing common to all of the organisms on Earth is that their body is adapted to their habitat and the diet they exhibit. Sharks are known carnivores and attack their prey to eat their flesh off. They have also evolved over time to fit into their diet needs, hunting habits, migration and habitat. They lack any endoskeleton made out of bones. This is their one unique quality that distinct them from other species on land and even in water.
The advantage of having a cartilage is that the density becomes much lighter than bony structure and the overall weight of shark is reduced. This helps them swim easily across the oceans because they do not have swim bladders that will prevent them from sinking like other fish have it. A sea creatures needs to stay buoyant to stay in waters and swim. The fish with bony skeleton have structures like swim bladder or gas bladder that fill up the gas or sir like a balloon to stay floating freely in sea. So do sharks have bones? No.

The softness of cartilage also gives the freedom of mobility in sharks. They have to swim in pursuit of their prey. They may be taking sharp turns and run wild after them. To attain their target conveniently cartridge skeleton gives them the felxibility to adapt to the hunting and running after the prey. There is another interesting factor that sharks also do not have ribs. Ribs carry the weight of the internal organs and the organs are protected by the bony cage. This gives them a threat that if they are pulled out of water their organs will not be able to endure the pressure and most likely will crash.
The cartilage is still a soft endoskeleton and there are some parts of the body where the support is weaker. Backbone and jaws both have weaker points. Jaws help in grabbing and tearing the prey. Backbone supports the whole body especially movement. With time these cartilage get calcified which means it starts getting deposits of calcium salt over it and gardens it more than just cartilages. It’s density is still lesser than that of bones.


Cartilage is also present in the skull that involves the beak and snout combine called rostrum. The substance in skull us denser and firmer as compared to the one on rostrum. Small has to protect eyes and brain so it’s strength ensures this. This is seen in humans as well. Snout and beak may get into some accidents as well so their soft and spongy nature can absorb the shocks and blows just like in human nose. Therefore now you know do sharks have bones?


The notorious jaws of the sharks are the ones that are most important in their carnivorous eating. Jaws need to have flexibility to get them open wide enough so that larger sized prey. They will tear it, shake it swallow it so their jaws have to have the mobility that they easily get their hands on the prey. The calcium deposits in the jaws called tesserae give them additional tenacity, support and strength. They can easy move right to left to exert as much force on their prey as they want so that they just grab it, and take it all the way down their throats.


The teeth among shark are in the form of rows. There are several rows of teeth among them in which the older teeth are pushed backwards. With age the number increases. In some species the teeth are constantly list and replaced by new ones. They may loose 3000 teeth in a life time. Their teeth are in the gums not rooted in the jaws. Some specie may loose a whole row of teeth and the the entire row gets replaced.

Tails and fins

Tails and find are the most important propellers of movement. Their design and formation helps them in steering in waters reducing the friction. Their presence also prevent them from sinking in water and swim forward. The to and fro movement ■■■■■■■■ by sharks is their primary mode of moving ahead. Their structure is made up elastic protein strands giving enough flexibility to shake it.


The skeleton of sharks show their exact adaptability in their habitat. They are carnivores so they have sharp teeth in a number sufficient to engulf the prey. Their streamlined structure gives them the speed to run after their prey and catch. The cartilage makes it lighter to Pace up their speed. Now the answer to do sharks have bones becomes pretty much clear that they do not have them.for a good reason. A bonus skeleton would have made them really heavy to swim through the water. They also get into fights and in a pursuit may meet an accident as well so if you still have this question in mind that do sharks have bones then having a solid structure would have given them fractures and breakages so frequently that their existence would be in a threat. It falls in such a right place that their bodies splendidly carry themselves through the waters and survive through threats.
Another important thing in their endoskeleton is that it has been formed in such a fashion that gives minimum friction or resistance while swimming. If they wanted to glide in the waters with a much broader physique then the water resistance would never have allowed them to go in such a speed that they can catch their food. Being a carnivore a running good will only be accessible if the speed of the water is greater than that of the prey. This is exactly what we see in sharks that the ultimate carnivore ore of the ocean will not spare it’s prey because it is modified according to it’s diet. Maybe a herbivore water dweller will not need such complexity in catching their lunch but since shark’s sharp teeth are never meant to have such meal so their structure perfectly fit their delight. So do sharks have bones? No it’s cartilage.

How do sharks prey?

Sharks are the most feared predators and one of the most oldest creatures on Earth with their existence found to be even older than dinosaurs. Their mode of catching their pretty is different from the land dwellers. And when see the various species of sharks the difference lies among them as well

Sensing the prey

The first step is to sense where is the location of the prey. The Hunt’s location decides what further actions have to be taken. To get to the prey first it needs to have certain senses. The natural predators have an excellent sense of smell. Their olfaction allows them to smell even a tiny drop of blood from far away. Their sensing ability is so sharp that they can catch up the slightest hint of the presence of their food. The smell of blood from either of the nose defines the direction of the prey. Their entire body assist them in the process. They have Lateral Lines in their bodies and their function is to pick up the pulses and vibrations in the water emitted by other animals. They can also detect the electrical impulses of their prey through the ■■■■■ called ampullae of Lorenzini. These are small pores present in their snout.

Stalking the prey

Before they go for the actual hunting or attacking their job is to stalk the prey. They will usually do that by circling around their prey. They are naturally adapted to blend in the surrounding. Like the bottom dwellers have bluish colour that gives them a hide out from their hunt. For the same purpose they hunt either way in the morning or in the evening when there is lesser light in the ocean which gives them an advantage over animals that they cannot be detected easily in the shadows.

Catching the prey

Catching prey employs different approaches from species separately. Now the white shark will directly attack its prey, exhausting it and trying to finish the job in a single bite. They will show swiftness to reach their goal. The bottom dweller hammerhead will reach for the prey according to it’s smallest mouth size. They will implant stingrays in the ocean floor to set a trap for it’s prey. They can have a meal bigger in size as well though because their jaws are not attached from the behind so size does not matter. The way jaw assist them in having the food by moving it differs among species.

Hunting straegies

Sharks hunt alone and feed on their prey. Sometimes they can form groups as well if there is some different kind of hunt. Like the sevegill sharks have to collaborate with each other to hunt down the fur seal because it’s size does make it easy for one Hunter to pursue. The structure of hammerheads also yearns them to something hunt in groups. Their wider heads have eyes on the either side that means a great field of vision and the distance between the two nostrils delays the time odour of the potential prey has to come to them. Therefore their sense to find the location of the pretty is increased. Another specie called the Thresher sharks are able to use their tails as well. They can slap and stun a school of sardines for feeding on them. Ironically the world’s biggest shark the whale shark turns out to be too friendly that it feeds on the planktons in seas by putting the it effort to keep its mouth open while streaming through the ocean.

Survival adaptations in sharks

Sharks are the predators that have nicely adapted themselves for the hunting, eating and living in the ocean. Their skills are attained by their specialized organs and senses that help them in blending in the environment. With carrying species the sharks skills and adaptability also differs with some features being intact across all the species.

Swimming in sharks

Sharks are always swimming or moving in the water even their eating is during streaming. Their bodies are specialized to use minimum energy to swim all along. And tapered bodies from snout to tail will help in reducing the water resistance so that they can pace up. They get a hide out from their prey and predator both by reducing the sound during swimming with specialised dermal denticles. These also minimize the drag by covering the entire body in pointy structures but directed towards the tail. Nonetheless these dentricles keep on replacing throughout the life to provide protection. Their bodies are light weighted due to cartilage instead of bones and the liver oil released called squalene is something that helps them in staying buoyant in water. When they want to change direction for moving forwards, sides or upwards their pectoral fins come to play.

Hunting in sharks

Sharks are born predators and their entire body facilitates them in so. First of all they have exclusive organs on their snout called ampullea of Lorenzini that can sense the presence of electric field around them emitted by their potential prey. They can easily detect any changes around their inner ears picking up the signals. Much of this task is also facilitated by having to have Lateral Lubes throughout the body that can perceive the current shifts, temperature deviations or abnormal currents or movements in water.

Teeth in sharks

The rows of teeth filling up the mouth of sharks vary in size and purpose in the species. Their teeth are continuously being lost and replaced giving them the vitality throughout the life for serving the main purpose of hunting. The variety of teeth set is different in species according to their diet. Those feeding on mollusks, crabs have flat blunt teeth. While those attacking larger preys have pointed serrated teeth.

Camouflauge in sharks

Their coloured bodies help them blend in the surrounding very easily. Their bodies have lighter colour underneath which when seen from the below looks like part of the sky. The different colours above are either brown, blue, olive or grey. These depend upon the respective surroundings that will camouflauge them from predators and dodge prey into believing being part of the adjacent area.

Defense in sharks

Sharks are the ultimate predator in oceans but they are also under threat. It is not just their teeth that seal them from threat but they are intelligence enough to deceive their predator and to leave them behind in a race. Their major enemies are the other sharks so their strength, wit and senses all have to work together to get them out of the danger.

Advantages given naturally

Sharks can come up with the best defense strategies because they are intelligent animals. They have with experience of hunting have learned how to protect themselves because the animals they pretty on like seals and dolphins are also intelligent. This gives them an advantage that they can come up with cleverer tricks. They will try to camauflauge themselves by deliberately sinking to the floor of the ocean. . Their sensitivity towards detecting their surrounding helps them in knowing the nearby dangers. So these answer lot many questions than do sharks have bones?

Body language of sharks

Sharks can prevent getting into any kind of conflict by using their body language. They may give an impression of being violent but that ferocity is only shown in a pursuit of prey. They are not really aggressive creatures rather avoid to have a fight in the first place if they are satiated. They can communicate distress when they are confronted with potential danger. Even before they are starting a confrontation they will lower their pectoral fins to signal that they are feeling unsafe.

Escaping situations

They have powerful speed and they use this feature to defend themselves as well. When sending the danger they will run away from the situation to safe themselves from getting into danger. In a fight or flight situation the sharks will actually flee from the situation saving their energies from conflicts. A great white shark is so good at this that it can go up to 43 miles per hour.

Attacking the enemies

In case they get into a fight with any of their foes they will give them strong blows to paralyse. Their strategies is stealth mode. They will attack their enemy by giving them a surprise by attacking from underneath. Sharks will utilize a combination of tactics which will involve tearing, slamming and biting their enemy. The attacks will leave the enemy confused and bewildered for victory falling in the boss predator’s hands.


Nature has created several organisms indifferent parts of the world. The widest part of the Earth is the one covered with water. Their enormous size is home to vast variety of organisms. Their adaptations to their surroundings helps them in adaptations and survival. They are given an advantage over the other organisms in different ways. There is fine organization of biodiversity in which the predators come first in the food chain. They prey on the lower classified animals and the chain ends at those feeding on plants etc. Do sharks have bones? There is more to it. Sharks are also at the top of the food chain who are feared all over. They are known not to spare anyone without taking a bite. They are always considered dangerous but actually they are just focused on their prey and use different strategies to hunt them down. This the phenomenon of nature that it has made it so. We actually need to seek protection when we plan to take a dip in warm waters. This is where they are abundantly found swimming. It is better to come in front of them without knowing the right tactics. Let’s just leave it to the experts who know how to handle them and have been extensively studying them.

Frequently asked questions

1. Do sharks jaws have bones

The deposition or density of cartilage among the sharks is different throughout the body but they do not have any bone around. This makes them adaptable to swimming freely and eating large sized preys.

2. Which fish do not have cartilage?

Fish have cartilage endoskeleton are called cartilagnous fish. Their entire bodies even their sounds are made out of cartilage. They are megalodon, giant manta lay, giant freshwater stingray, large tooth sawfish, tiger sharks and great white sharks.

3. Why are sharks boneless?

Sharks have cartilage as their supportive tissue and this actually gives them many advantages because they are able to glide through the water with no extra weight of bones to carry. Especially in jaws they can eat prey of bigger sizes and then result in having a variety to choose from when it comes to satiation.

4. What are sharks afraid of?

Sharks are carnivores predators and are considered to be violent and aggressive but actually they try to stay away from confrontations. Researches have witnessed that when sharks had seen Oscars or killer whales dwelling around their habitats they would preferably flew away.

5. Do sharks like being pet?

Sharks have never experienced human touch so often. If they are given the care and concern then they can reflect it back. However most of us are not trained to pet them so better to avoid if there is no prior knowledge.

6. Do sharks have tongues?

There is a small piece of cartlidge present at the bottom of their mouth inside. This is mostly useless in most sharks with few exceptions. It is called basihyal.

7. How do sharks give birth?

Sharks give birth in both modes. Some species lay eggs and some give birth to their young ones. This is called being oviparous and viviparous respectively.

8. Do sharks feel pain?

Pain is felt on any body because of the pain sending receptors that take the pain message to the brain. In sharks there hasn’t been nociceptors or pain receptors found on their skin. This is particularly seen when they disregard the injuries.

9. Are sharks older than dinosaurs?

Sharks are some 455 million years ago that makes them ancient animals and yes much older than dinosaurs.

10. Why are sharks afraid of dolphins?

Dolphins and sharks are animals of two opposite poles sharks are notorious for their killing venture and dolphins are considered friendly see creatures. But when it comes to having terms among both of them actually sharks and dolphins are foes because sharks eat baby dolphins being smaller in size and easy to capture. Thus dolphins can easily speed up pursuiting sharks and end up killing them by giving hard blows.

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