The Hawaiian shark, informally known as niuhi, is a species of shark closely related to that of the Great white shark. These sharks swim in coastal waters of up to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The Hawaiian shark is most recognizable by the series of dark colorings on the sides of it’s body mimicking the tribal tattoos of the Hawaii natives. 

The Hawaiian shark was first discovered off the coast of Hawaii in the late 1800’s. Its alternative name, niuhi, is the Hawaiian translation for “shark” which was given to the species upon discovery.

Distribution and habitat Edit

Aside from the coasts of Hawaii, the Hawaiian shark has been seen on the coasts of California, Mexico, Fiji, Tahiti, the Caribbean, and various countries in South America. The main reason the Hawaiian shark chooses these warm areas is because it can only survive in waters that are relatively warm, ranging from 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Living in warm waters means that there are a limited number of foods that the Hawaiian shark could consume. Their core diet includes reef fish, jellyfish, crabs, anemones, shrimp, and starfish. They typically feed two times a day but can go up to 5 days without food if they cannot find any. 

Appearance Edit

The appearance of the Hawaiian shark differs whether you are observing a female or a male. The female is typically 10-12 feet when fully grown whereas the male is significantly larger, growing up to 15-17 feet long. 

The dark colorings on the body of the shark also change depending on the gender. You can find these tattoo-like marks on the right side of the female’s body in a brown color but on the left side of the male’s body in a black color. 

 Julia Kolenkina 

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.