Big boss! Represent the owner or the head of the region, in the same manner, sharks and whales are awarded with this title and are considered as the big bosses of the oceans. They are also called the ocean beasts because of their giant size and exceptional predatory skills. This article tends to explain the resemblances as well as dissimilarity among both ocean species, so let’s analyze some interesting facts about these monsters.
Sharks and whales
Sharks and whales are the large creatures of marine ecosystem; a shark belongs to the group of cartilaginous fishes while whales are the mammals which thrive in ocean water. However, both species have learnt to cope with different physical environments, they were able to live in cold and warm waters, freshwater or saltwaters. As sharks for fins and meat while whales for blubber layer are highly demanded due to which most of their members are on endangered list and are about to extinct.
Resemblances between sharks and whales
Sharks and whales both fall in the category of vertebrates which means both the species are with backbones. Another similarity between them is that both belong to aquatic environments and enjoy swimming deep in the ocean. Whales always prefer to live only in the ocean water while sharks with few exceptions live both in freshwater and saltwater. One of the remarkable features is a fusiform shape of the body that is the most evident resemblances between sharks and whales. This shape of their body helps to move through the tides of water in the most proficient way.
Dissimilarities between sharks and whales
There are a number of differences between them which are much deeper than oceans. Here are some of the common differences listed to make it easy for you to differentiate between them.
|Group||Sharks belongs to the group of cartilaginous fishes||Whales belongs to the group of marine mammals|
|Species distribution||There are about 440 species of sharks that are distributed all over the world||There are around 90 species of whales are distributed|
|Habitat||Sharks prefer warm water in tropical regions||Whales prefers cold water of Southern and Northern hemisphere|
|Size||Sharks size reaches up to 40 feet||The size of whales grows up to 98 feet|
|Weight||The weight of sharks lies between 680 to 2268kg on average||The weight of whales on average is more than 150 tons|
|Skeleton||The entire skeleton of sharks is made up of cartilage||Like mammals, whales skeleton in composed of bones|
|Body color||Sharks are usually gray in color, with white skin of belly and pale yellow spots on the back||Whales are gray, blue and of black color|
|Thermoregulation mechanism||Sharks are cold blooded so they do not regulate their body temperature||Whales are warm blooded species which regulates their body temperature|
|Skin||The skin do not contain any hairy layer||The skin is covered with minute layer of hair|
|Blubber layer||The skin of sharks do not have the insulating blubber layer below their skin||Whales possess a layer of blubber underneath their skin which prevent the fall of body temperature|
|Breathing mechanism||Sharks bears 5 pairs of gills which helps them to respire||Whales possess well developed lung used in respiration|
|Teeth||Sharks have 300 to 350 teeth which helps them to capture the prey||Whales have 240 to 250 teeth which helps to capture and seize prey|
|Diet||Sharks do not feed on specific species, they capture anything which comes in their surroundings||Whales feed on algae, planktons, larvae and other minute creatures|
|Reproduction||Sharks are ovoviviparous, they either lay eggs or give birth to young ones||Whales are viviparous, which only give birth to young ones|
|Eggs||Sharks produces about 300 eggs annually||Whales only give birth to young pups and release them in ocean waters|
|Sleep mechanism||Sharks do sleep for sometime||Whales do not sleep but do some rest|
|Organs||Sharks have well developed sense of smell, vision and are electroreception ability||Whales have very well developed ears so that they can hear the sound produced by predators from distance|
|Communication skills||Sharks do not share any communication strategies with other sharks species||Whales produces different sounds so as to interconnect with other whales|
|Behavior||Sharks do not show any friendly behavior towards other species and are not trained for entertainment||Whales in contrast share friendly relationship with other species and are also trained for the purpose of entertainment|
|Migration||Sharks do not migrate to other places as the season changes||Whales migrates from one place to other seasonally|
|Life span||Sharks can live for 20 to 30 years||Whales can live for about 70 to 100 years|
Although sharks and whales share some sort of resemblance in their mode of living, they differ in many ways as well, sharks belong to the group of cartilaginous fishes while whales fall in the category of live marine mammals. Their behavior, mode of nutrition, appearance, distribution, sleep mechanism, color, reproduction and many other features analyzed above to help you to distinguish between the two giant water species. Now, whenever you see any of them you would be able to differentiate them easily.