Differences Between Sharks And Bony Fish

Last Updated on March 19, 2022 by QCity Editorial Stuff

Some people think that sharks and bony fish are the same things, but they couldn’t be more wrong. One of the major differences between sharks and bony fish is their skeletal systems. Sharks have a cartilaginous skeleton, while bony fish’s skeletons are made up of bone tissue. Another difference is their circulatory system; sharks use a spiral valve to pump blood out through their gills (which isn’t true for other types of fish), and they also have five sets of paired appendages: two pectoral fins, two pelvic fins, one anal fin, and one caudal fin. Bony fishes only have four pairs of appendages: one dorsal fin on its back near its head, one set each for its pectoral, pelvic, and anal fins, and one caudal fin.

Bony fish are a type of vertebrate that have an internal skeleton. They are split into two groups, ray-finned and lobe-finned fish. Sharks belong to the class Chondrichthyes which is composed of cartilage instead of bone. The internal organs are surrounded by mesothelial tissue for protection against sudden changes in pressure found deep underwater where some species live or migrate through (Sharks 101). Bony fish can be broken down into two main categories; ray-finned bony fishes which make up 95% of all living species with more than 20 000 different species, and lobe-finned bony fishes which consist of three groups: coelacanths, lungfish, and tetrapods.

Comparison Between Sharks And Bony Fish

 Parameters of Comparison  SharksBony Fish
Skeletoncartilage skeletonbony fish have a bone one
VertebratesSharks are vertebratesfish are invertebrates
Live Bony fish live in watersharks live on land or sea
Cool blooded sharks are warm-bloodedBony fish are cold-blooded
Come up Sharks don’t need to come up for airbut bony fish do.

What Are Sharks?

What Are Sharks

Sharks are predatory fish that inhabit the world’s oceans. They have a cartilaginous skeleton, five to seven-gill slits on the sides of their heads which provides them with an excellent sense of smell and taste, two sets of jaws in some species or three sets in others. Sharks live all over the world but divers should avoid sharks found near coasts because they are more aggressive than those found further out at sea. There are about 400 different types of sharks that have been identified so far. These include both open water sharks and coastal sharks. The largest living shark is called whale shark because it can grow up to 40 feet long.

Sharks are a group of large predatory fish that has survived for more than 400 million years. They have no bones and cartilage, but instead, their skeleton is made up entirely of tough, flexible cartilage. Sharks range in size from the small dwarf lantern shark to the great white shark which can grow as long as 20 feet! The smallest sharks mature at around 15 inches long while some whale sharks can be 50 feet or longer! While not all sharks eat meat, the majority do and they prey on many other sea creatures such as squid, turtles, crabs, and even other smaller sharks. Today there are about 470 species of sharks found throughout our oceans making them one of the most diverse groups in existence today. 

What Is Bony Fish?

Bony fish are a group of fish that includes over twenty-five thousand different species. This vast number of species is divided into two groups: ray-finned and lobe-finned fishes. The ray-finned fishes have fins made up completely of rays, whereas the lobe-finned fishes have fleshy, lobed fins. Both types of bony fish include many different shapes and sizes in their physical structures which help them survive in all sorts of environments around the world.

Bony fish, or teleostomi, are a large group of ray-finned fishes which also include the most important commercial and recreational fisheries. The bony fish are divided into two groups: Elasmobranchii (sharks, rays, and skates) in superclass Osteichthyes with about 20 000 species in 9 orders. Osteichthyes contain more than 30 000 species of living vertebrates that have jaws and paired fins as well as true bone tissue.

10 Differences Between Sharks And Bony Fish

Skeleton: Sharks have a cartilage skeleton, bony fish have a bone one.

Vertebrates: Sharks are vertebrates and bony fish are invertebrates.

Live: Bony fish live in water while sharks live on land or sea. 

Survive: Most sharks can’t survive out of the water for more than an hour, while some small species of bony fish can survive on land for up to three days without any water at all.

Rows: Sharks have a mouth with rows of sharp teeth that they use to tear their prey into pieces before swallowing it whole – this is called “mouthing”.

Food: Unlike sharks, most bony fishes don’t chew their food but swallow it whole because they lack teeth.

Cartilage: Sharks have cartilage instead of bone.

Cold-blooded: Bony fish are cold-blooded while sharks are warm-blooded.

Come up: Sharks don’t need to come up for air, but bony fish do.

Gills: Bony fish use gills to breathe underwater, sharks use their mouth and nose.

Interesting Statistics Or Facts Of Sharks

1. Sharks have the longest pregnancies of any animal, with gestation periods lasting up to two years.

2. The fastest shark is a shortfin mako, which can swim at speeds of up to 54 miles per hour.

3. A pregnant female great white shark will eat five times her normal food intake during pregnancy.

4. There are more than 400 species of sharks in the world’s oceans today.

5. Shark Bay off Australia is home to the largest gathering of sharks on earth – an estimated 10,000 individuals at once!  6. Sharks are some of the oldest creatures on earth – they’ve been around for over 450 million years.

Interesting Statistics Or Facts Of Bony Fish

1. Bony fish make up about 97% of all vertebrate species.

2. There are more than 25,000 different types of bony fish.

3. The average bony fish lives for 10 to 15 years.

4. Some species can produce sounds and communicate with each other using these sound waves.

5. Fish use their fins to steer themselves through the water; they do not have a backbone or bones as we do.

6. Most bony fish lay eggs that hatch into larvae (baby) before developing into adults.

Conclusion About The Differences Between Sharks And Bony Fish

The difference between sharks and bony fish. Sharks are predators that feed mainly on other marine life such as smaller fishes, squid, octopus, and crustaceans while bony fish eat algae or small prey like zooplankton. Bony fish can be divided into two categories based on their feeding habits; herbivores which only eat plant material and omnivores who also consume animal matter in addition to plants. Some of the most well-known species among the latter group include goldfish, guppies, tetras, etc.

Sharks are not fish because they have cartilaginous skeletons. Bony fish, on the other hand, have a boney skeleton. The sharks’ skin is made of tough dermal denticles that help prevent abrasion and parasites from attaching to their bodies while swimming in open water with lots of sand or dirt. They also only have one lung instead of two like most fish species do which simplifies breathing through spiracles located near their mouths. These factors create an adaptation for life in the ocean depths where there is little light available for photosynthesis to occur and food may be scarce at times.


Resource 01: https://www.worldwildlife.org/species/shark
Resource 02: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osteichthyes#:~:text

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