Determining the lifespan of sharks is a difficult task as they are very tough to monitor in the ocean because of their migratory and feeding patterns. Even more, it has been demonstrated that the lifespan of sharks in captivity is considerably shorter from those in the wild, making impractical to generate deductions from those individuals in captivity.

Lately, GPS technology has provided a new approach to track migration patterns and life habits of sharks, providing more precise data about them.

Shark lifespan vary by kind. Although the majority of types live 20 to 30 years in the wild, there are some kinds that live much longer than others.

For example, the spiny dogfish has one of the longest lifespan at more than 100 years, while the blue shark in the wild has an average lifespan of 15-16 years. Nevertheless, as we mention before, blue shark life span lowers down to 8 years when held in captivity, perhaps as a result of the inactivity inherent to captivity.

Whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) are also thought to live above 100 years, suggesting that the time to reach maturity is longer and offspring will require longer to born, making this type of shark more vulnerable. Some experts believe that the amount of growth rings on a whale shark’s vertebrae may be an indicator of their age. In captivity, whale sharks are not quite happy as in few cases they have died within days, but at most they have reached only 8 years.

Some scientists believe that the life expectancy of the Great White Sharks is around 30 years (Levine, 1988) but other research indicates that they can reach up to 40 years.

The lifespan of Tiger Sharks in the wild is believed to be 27 years in average, although some may live up to 50 years of age. Like with other species, tiger sharks in captivity do not live as lengthy as in wildlife reaching only 17 to 20 years.

The repercussion of captivity in the life-span of Leopard Sharks is certainly dramatic; if they are kept in smaller tanks they have a really short expectancy of approximately 9 years while larger aquarium tanks can help them to have a longer life that can reach up to 25 years. In the wild, it is thought that their life expectancy is 30 years.

The typical lifespan in the wild for Hammerhead Sharks is from 20 to 30 years approximately.

Sandbar sharks or Brown sharks are considered to live between 20 and 30 years. Research made by Joung (2004) identified to be about 20 years of age. While, Sminkey (1996) mention that sandbar sharks can live to be more than 30 years old.

The age of silky or Blackspot sharks can be established by counting the quantity of growth rings that develop on their vertebrae as with other species, with each ring standing for around one year of life. It is believed that Silky Sharks can live up 25 years in the wild.
Links to other pages in this site

How Much Do Sharks Weight?
Why Are Sharks Dangerous?
How Long Do Mother Sharks Carry Their Babies?
What Color Is The Hammerhead Shark?
How Many Years Does A Shark Live For?