35 Shark Species Swimming in California


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I love sharks! And I often find myself wondering what species are in the waters around me, and far from me!  If you, like me, wonder what shark species swim around in the waters of California, this article is for you!

Common Thresher Sharks, Alopias vulpinus, are the largest of the thresher shark species growing to 20 feet. These predators use their long tails to whip and stun their prey before feeding on them.

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Common Thresher Shark

Bigeye Thresher Sharks, Alopias superciliosus, like other threshers, have long upper tail lobes. However, their large eyes are distinctive to this species and can rotate upward.

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Bigeye Thresher Shark

Leopard sharks, Triakis semifasciata, have slender bodies covered with black spots and stripes on their backs. These sharks are harmless to humans and can often be seen near reefs and kelp forests.

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Leopard Shark

Gray Smoothound sharks, Mustelus californicus, received their name due to their smooth skin. These slender-bodied sharks grow to about 4.3 feet and are listed as Least Concern according to the IUCN Red List.

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Gray Smoothhound Shark

Tiger sharks, Galeocerdo cuvier, are large predators growing to over 16 feet in length. These sharks are renowned for their eating habits, which even include garbage found in the ocean.

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Tiger Shark

Oceanic Whitetip Sharks, Carcharhinus longimanus, are known for their rounded white-tipped fins. These sharks are slow-moving, yet very aggressive.

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Oceanic Whitetip Shark

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Blue sharks, Prionace glauca, are migratory sharks and even though they tend to be lethargic they can move at impressive speeds. These 10-foot sharks are Near Threatened owing to overfishing.

Blue Shark


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