What is the difference between sharks and whales?

Aquatic life is so vast and there you will find different types of aquatic animals that are so different from each other. Similarly, sharks and whales are also two different aquatic animals that have their own specifications. In this article, we will discuss how sharks and whales are different from each other and why people think they are the same.

Difference between whales and sharks

We will discuss the difference between whales and sharks on the basis of a few points like their nature, physical appearance, food, communication, etc.

1- Appearance

Whales are mammals who have smooth skin and move tails up and down to swim in the water. They do not have any scale on their body. They are warm-blooded aquatic animals that have more than 40 types depending upon their weight, shape, and nature.

Sharks on the other hand are fishes that have scales on their body. They are a type of vertebrate which means they have a strong backbone. Their body is streamlined which helps them to swim along with their tail which they move in side-by-side motion.

2- Type

Whales are mammals and are worm blooded which means they cannot regulate their own body temperature according to the environment.

Sharks are vertebrates. They are warm-blooded and can regulate their body according to the environmental temperature. That is why they can live in cold as well as warm water.  

3- History

If we talk about the history of whales they are found on Earth around 190-200 Million years ago. Which means they are old animals of water.

The sharks are old enough. They are found on Earth for more than 400 Million years. So we can say that sharks are the oldest aquatic creature.

4- Food

 Whales cannot hunt food they eat plankton and krill. They also eat small fish and squid.

Sharks can hunt their food. They attack big fish and eat them.

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5- Weight

Whales especially blue whales are known as the largest mammals on the earth. Their weight can be anywhere from 80-100 tons and also varies.

The weight of the sharks is more than 2000kg.


Whales give birth to the young ones and they are lucky that they get fed by their mothers. Female whales fed their little sharks milk after birth just like the other mammals.

While the sharks lay eggs. Sharks are not responsible for caring for their babies after the eggs hatch. They lay thousands of eggs but most of them do not survive. The embryos are protected by the egg cases which help them to survive.

7- Lungs or gills

Whales are mammals and like other mammals, they have lungs to breathe. They cannot breathe into the water which is why they have to go to the surface of the water to breathe.

Sharks have gills and they can take oxygen from the water and breathe inside the water.

8- Communication

Whales have the ability to create sounds and communicate with each other.

Sharks do not have this ability to communicate


From the above differences, we can say that whales and sharks are different and they have totally different natures. Sharks are fish but whales are mammals. Sharks lay eggs but whales are born babies. They are completely different aquatic animals.  

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