Do Sharks Fight Each Other? (Not Always! Here’s Why)

Sharks are natural predators. They live alone and rarely travel in pairs or packs.

But are they aggressive with one another?

Rarely do sharks fight each other. Most of the time, sharks live alone and stay away from later fish and mammals. However, large sharks like Tiger sharks and Great White sharks attack and kill young, vulnerable, and juvenile sharks.

Why Do Sharks Attack?

There are a few common reasons sharks will attack each other including cannibalism, mating rituals, and their natural predatory instincts. 

In 2021, two Great White sharks fought to the death, biting large chunks of flesh. According to researchers, this happens more commonly than you’d think.

Intrauterine Cannibalism

One of the main reasons sharks attack each other is because of cannibalism. Several shark species give birth to live sharks and while they are in the womb, it is a fight of the fittest. 

For example, the Sand Tiger shark produces between 10 to 40 eggs and has two uteri, but only one to two baby sharks survive until birth.

While in the womb, the largest shark, which is usually the first to develop, attacks and kills its siblings while in the womb. These sharks eat fertilized and unfertilized eggs and are about 3 feet long during birth.

Mating Rituals

Sharks have unique mating rituals that are painful for female sharks. When it is mating season, male and female sharks will find each other to reproduce. 

Male sharks are aggressive and to get into the right position will attack and fight the female shark. After a session, the female is left with scars on their pectoral fin and skin.

Female sharks are not completely vulnerable, though. They are larger than male sharks and develop thicker skin.

During the mating rituals, female sharks can reject their male counterparts and attack back. Female sharks will even avoid their mating partners after they reproduce.


Sharks are not afraid to hunt smaller, younger, or vulnerable sharks. While these large fish are the most aggressive predators of the sea, next to Orca whales, they are also opportunists.

Most sharks are not picky eaters and will consume a hurt animal, like another shark. Bull sharks, for example, eat other sharks. However, Whale sharks stay away from other sharks and are the most unlikely to attack.

They are also protective of their homes. Sharks will swim away from each other, but if they feel threatened will attack. However, sharks rarely stay in the same area long and are migratory animals.

Will Sharks Fight Other Animals?

Most aquatic animals swim as far away as possible from large sharks since they are massive predators and amazing hunters. Sharks are not afraid to fight, attack, and kill other animals.

For example, sharks sometimes attack baby dolphins since they are smaller and more vulnerable. However, sharks do not usually have the upper hand.

Dolphins live in pods and are protective of every dolphin in their group. They will fight back, which is why most sharks stay away from dolphins.

Some sharks also attack whales. Great White sharks are massive, sometimes growing over 20 feet long. With their strength and excellent senses, they can fight and bring down young humpback whales.

To Conclude

All in all, most sharks ignore each other and choose not to fight. However, large shark species like Great White sharks, Bull sharks, and Tiger sharks attack other smaller species of sharks.

Young tiger sharks in the womb also fight and consume their siblings, usually only leaving one to two sharks behind.

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