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Sleeper Sharks


Average Size – 12ft

Sleeper Sharks tend to be stocky with short, round snouts, and small eyes.

There is a wide range of length among Sleeper Sharks, but some can grow quite large. One such shark would be the Greenland Shark (pictured), this specific shark can reach lengths up to 24ft and can weigh over 800lbs.  Greenland Sharks are also quite the scientific phenomenon when it comes to lifespan. They are known to live ,on average, at least 250 years, but some may have even had a lifespan of over 500 years.

The other shark rivaling the Greenland Shark in size is the Pacific Sleeper Shark (pictured), this shark can reach around 23ft in length.

They inhabit tropical and temperate waters of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. They prefer continental shelves and slopes in cold deep water around 2000 meters to 6600 meters deep.

They are the “Tiger Sharks” of the deep in the sense that they will eat almost anything they come across. Their diet ranges from Bony Fish, Crustaceans, Cephalopods, to Ocean Mammals such as Porpoises and Sea lions. They have also found beaks of Colossal Squid in their stomachs, so it is entirely possible that they may be a part of their diet as well.

They are both scavengers and predators feeding by suction and cutting their prey. 

Due to their “sleepy” behavior, they are not known to be aggressive.

The name “Sleeper Shark” comes from their sluggishness. They are very inactive and show no signs of aggression.

18 Species across 6 Genera.

They have adapted to cold deep waters because the oil in their liver does not contain squalene, which would cause the shark to solidify into a non buoyant mass. So their oil stays liquid at low temperatures.

A full list of the species can be found here.

Sleeper Shark Graphic
©dottedyeti -
Greenland Shark Header
©dottedyeti -
Pacific Sleeper Shark Gallery
By National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - NOAA's Okeanos Explorer 2017 CAPSTONE Expedition, Public Domain,
Greenland Shark Sleeper Shark Gallery
"File:Greenland shark profile.jpg" by Hemming1952 is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0