Press ENTER to search, ESC to clear

5 Things I Learned about the Sandbar Shark

Sandbar sharks, like the one you see here, reside within shallow coastal waters around the globe—ranging from Massachusetts all the way to Brazil in the Western Atlantic. Here are 5 things a non-aquarist learned about this interesting animal at Greater Cleveland Aquarium.

1. This species of shark is considered an opportunistic bottom feeder. From small fish and crustaceans to octopi and stingrays, sandbar sharks don’t leave much off the menu.

2. The only predator of sandbar sharks are—can you guess?—other sharks! Juveniles will sometimes fall prey to larger species like bull sharks, otherwise there are few animals interested in hunting them.

3. Sandbar sharks only breed every 2-3 years and live anywhere from 25 – 30 years old. Researchers estimate full maturity happens around 13 – 16 years of age, meaning they reach true adulthood around the time you first learned to drive!

4. In 2020, the International Union for Conservation of Nature classified sandbar sharks as endangered, citing a 50 – 80% decrease in population over the last 75 years. However, management plans have been put in place and those regions are seeing populations begin to stabilize in the shallow waters they call home.

5. Sandbar sharks migrate seasonally, with juveniles often moving from shallow coastal waters to warm deep waters. Interestingly, males tend to migrate in large schools, while females make the journey solitarily with no company.

Look for sandbar, sandtiger and other species of sharks during your next Greater Cleveland Aquarium visit. Nature. It’s a curious thing.

Touch a turtle's shell at our daily animal encounters.

Daily Activities
May 13, 2024 / Species Highlights

What Does Parenting Look Like in Nature?

Ever wondered what parenthood looks like when it comes to the animal kingdom? From mouthbrooding to live births, parenting takes… Read More

March 28, 2024 / Species Highlights

These Small Animals Make a Big Impact

While the giant Pacific octopus or sandtiger sharks always make an impression on Greater Cleveland Aquarium guests, many little animals… Read More

February 13, 2024 / Species Highlights

How Do These Animals Attract a Mate?

Love is in the air—and underwater—at Greater Cleveland Aquarium. With Valentine’s Day this week, you might be wondering how certain… Read More