What is the Name for a Female Shark?

What is the Name for a Female Shark?

In many languages across history we can see examples of how animals of the same species can be given different names according to gender. A popular example is found in the common phrase "What's good for the goose, is good for the gander". So then what do we call a female shark in relation to its male counterpart. English grammar has a simple rule to answer this question and it is a rule which works for almost every species of animal.

On OneHowTo.com we will answer the question What is the Name for a Female Shark? and provide insights into their behavioral gender differences.

What Does the Merriam-Webster Dictionary Say?

Well, the definition of a shark is that it is one of any numerous, mostly marine, fishes of medium to large size that have a fusiform (tapering toward each end) body, lateral bronchial clefts and a tough, usually dull grey skin roughened by minute tubercles. They are typically active predators sometimes dangerous to humans. This is to say, we are talking about a potentially dangerous beast.

But what how do we refer to the females of a shark species? If you were expecting to find a clever word you can use at dinner parties to show off your intellect, you'll be disappointed as the name for a female shark is simply: a female shark. They do not have a name differentiation between genders so you can avoid erroneous words like: sharkette, sharkaline, etc.

Facts About Female Sharks

Now let's talk a little more about sharks so you can identify these cold blooded killers and their predatory characteristics.

Do Female Sharks Need a Man?

Although most shark species require the male to reproduce, in 2001 at a zoo in Nebraska a female hammerhead shark gave birth to a baby without any contact from a male specimen. Unlikely to be a shark style immaculate conception, the scientific name given to this occurrence is 'parthenogenesis' which is the ability of some females to reproduce without intervention of a male. This is a very uncommon occurrence and has rarely, if ever, been recorded in the wild.

The usual reproductive method of sharks is for the male to use two 'claspers' (erroneously often thought to be two penises) to attach itself to the female and introduce sperm. Sometimes fertilized sharks eggs are kept in a protective casing of protein known as a 'mermaid's pouch'. Baby sharks are born with a full set of teeth and leave the mother immediately as it has been reported that the mothers can sometimes eat them.

Females Have Thicker Skin

The female shark skin is much thicker than the males so they can resist an attack without too much trouble. In fact, the blue shark female has skin that is almost twice as thick as the male of the same species. Several studies have shown that in times of migration pregnant females tend to move away from the males to protect them during birth, although they do not care for them after they are born.

Most sharks are small

Due to the popularity of movies like Jaws and Sharknado, the image we have in our heads of sharks is often that of the great white shark. The truth is that there are over 400 different species of sharks and more than 80% of them are smaller than humans. Less than 5% are as big as the great white shark or the whale shark, which can reach up to 13 meters (c. 43 feet) in size.

Very Precise Senses

It is true that some sharks only see in black and white, but there are others which can appreciate colors. Regardless of color, the quality of their eyesight is excellent. If we add that to their acute senses of smell and hearing, we find an incredibly effective predator that is able to detect victims far away. Most male sharks tend to be larger in size, but apart from those mentioned above there is little difference between them. If you were to be preyed upon by one, the gender of the shark has little to do with your chances of survival.

If you want to now more about these fascinatingly deadly creatures, read our article on How Many Feet Long are Sharks. To know more about potentially scary creatures, check out What are the Most Dangerous Animals in India.

If you want to read similar articles to What is the Name for a Female Shark?, we recommend you visit our The Animal Kingdom category.