May 7

If you live in the UK and are a fan of sharks, then you are in serious luck! The BBC is launching a 3-part documentary series celebrating one of the most magnificent fish in the sea – the shark! It’s the first BBC series ever to be dedicated to sharks taking about two years to make, 2,646 hours underwater, 1.5 million liters of air, and having only one camera eaten by a shark!

For those in the UK who want to learn more about the sharks featured in the BBC series, why not use the commercial breaks to swim through Arkive’s extensive library of images, videos and information on several shark species. For everyone else around the world, let’s dive deep into the Arkive shark collection to explore some of the species that will be featured in the series!

The Movie Star

Great-white-shark-swimming-anterior-view (1)

Let’s start, with perhaps the most famous cinematic star of all time, the great white shark! While the great white is not a ferocious man-eater, it is however a skilled predator that often feasts upon turtles, mollusks, crustaceans and even small cetaceans. Also, they can maintain their body temperature higher than that of the surrounding water through a heat exchange system.

The Speedy Fellow


As it name suggests the most distinctive feature of the blacktip shark is the black coloration on some of its fins. This shark is one of the more athletically built sharks with its torpedo-shaped body which allows it to easily cut through the water. It uses it agility to its advantage in swimming vertically through schools of fish spinning and snapping in all directions until it breaches the surface.

The Couch Potato


One could say the Greenland shark has has an affinity for frigid waters, since it inhabits the icy waters of the Arctic and northern Atlantic. Even though this shark is known for its sluggish movements, it still has a diverse diet that includes fish, seals and even cetaceans. An odd affliction for most Greenland sharks is a bizarre copepod that attaches to their corneas and overtime damages their eyesight.

The Night Owl



This slender whitetip reef shark exhibits an almost Dr.Jekyll/Mr.Hyde personality shift, since it is relatively docile during the day, but becomes considerably more aggressive when hunting at night. While usually a solo hunter, this shark is not opposed to hunting with another in capturing prey such as octopus, lobster and crabs. To capture its prey, it sometimes chases them into a crevice and proceeds to jam its body in after it, thus sealing off the exit.

The Master of Disguise


The well camouflaged tasseled wobbegong hardly resembles the stereotypical image of the shark, since it possess a flat and wide body.  The wobbegong has a magnificent “beard” that resembles succulent morsels of food, which attracts unsuspecting fish toward its mouth. Its flattened body allows for great maneuverability in squirming into enclosed spaces.


BBC Sharks debuts tonight at 8:55pm on BBC One in the UK

William Lazaro, Arkive Social Media Intern, Wildscreen USA 




Aug 8

As Shark Week continues to float on here in the US, we think it’s the perfect time to shine the spotlight on some of the strangest-looking sharks found on Earth. We all know what the great white shark looks like but have you seen a shark with an ‘executioner’ style hood over its head or one with a beard? Read on to see how many of these bizarre sharks are new to you!

 10. Trendy trim

Photo of leopard shark swimming along sea bed

With a chic patterning of splotches over its body, the leopard shark roams the ocean in the day and night. Despite the fear that all sharks are dangerous, the leopard shark is actually harmless to man and even approachable when it lounges on the sea floor during the day.

 9.  An immense encounter

Photo of whale shark filter feeding, surrounded by other smaller fish

We think this shark merits an appearance on this list just for its sheer size. The largest fish in the sea, the whale shark can weigh up to 13 tons. Perhaps ironically, the biggest fish in the world feeds primarily on some of the smallest organisms, tiny planktonic organisms.

8.  Hard-headed

Photo of kitefin shark swimming

The blunt snout of this species along with its large eyes makes the kitefin shark a perfect addition to our list. The kitefin shark is uniquely ovoviviparous meaning it gives birth to live young instead of laying eggs like most other fish species.

7. Hooded hider

Photo of hooded carpetshark showing spriacle

With a black mask over its head and snout, the hooded carpet shark is said to resemble an eerie ‘executioner’s hood’. The addition of white spots that cover most of its body helps this species to blend into surrounding coral until this nocturnal shark comes to life at night.

6. Wide-eyed wonder

Photo of crocodile shark speciman close up

Check out the blinders on this fish! The crocodile shark is a small slender shark known for its short head and large eyes likely used to hunt effectively at night. Following its prey towards the water surface at night and away during the day, the crocodile shark is an active hunter which enjoys a wide variety of prey including squid, fish, and shrimp.

5. See a saw

Photo of green sawfish swimming

Aptly named, the green sawfish has an elongated snout with over 23 pairs of teeth.  By using this impeccable nozzle, the green sawfish is able to feed on slow-moving fish by clubbing at them with a side of its saw. Cleverly, the green sawfish uses its saw to act as a shovel-like instrument to rake out crustaceans.

4. Face of an angel

Photo of angel shark on the seabed at night

Sometimes mistaken for a large ray due to its appearance, the angel shark has a remarkably flat body and well-placed eyes on the top of its head that are perfect for ambush-style predation. The angel shark is Critically Endangered, likely due to its prevalence in by-catch – the accidental capture of species through standard fishing practices such as trawling. Sadly, this species has been declared extinct in the North Sea.

3. Mega mouth

Photo of basking shark feeding

As the second largest fish in the sea, the basking shark is one to impress. Perhaps a good kisser, the basking shark uses its three-foot-wide mouth to filter feed while it ‘basks’. Not too interested in the social scene, the solitary basking shark is thought to hibernate in deep water.

2. Ancient allure

Photo of filled shark swimming

The frilled shark is one of the most primitive species of living shark. Having perfected its look to have a lizard-like, blunt-ended snout and a very large mouth, the frilled shark possesses an unconventional beauty. Living primarily in the deep-water darkness, this three-foot-long and mysterious beast has had few observations made in its natural environment.

1. Camouflaged charmer

Photo of tasselled wobbegong

Literally meaning ‘well fringed nose with shaggy beard’, the tasselled wobbegong is an exceedingly unusual looking shark. With its branching skin flaps and a lofty lattice-like ‘beard’ the wobbegong’s bristles provide it with a sagacious camouflage and overall appearance. We challenge you to find a weirder-looking shark on ARKive!

Were any sharks on our list new to you? Or do you have a favorite to add to the list? Surf the ARKive site for more sharks and share your favorites in the comments below!

Jade Womack, Education & Outreach Intern, Wildscreen USA


RSS is the place for films, photos and facts about endangered species. Subscribe to our blog today to keep up to date!

Email updates

Sign up to receive a regular email digest of Arkive blog posts.
Preferred frequency:

Arkive twitter

Twitter: ARKive