Are There Sharks with Down Syndrome?

You may have probably seen a viral meme or a funny video that shows sharks with Down syndrome. But is that true? Well, the answer is No.

Here in this article, you will find a detailed answer and other information to this curious question. Are there sharks with Down syndrome? Let’s dive deep into it.

Can Sharks Have Down Syndrome

Down syndrome is a genetic disorder that is caused by an extra copy of the chromosome. Research has found that great white sharks have an amazing genetic ability. Their gene sequence is in such a way that maintains the DNA stability and prevents the cause of cancer.

Sharks have 41 pairs of chromosomes one and a half times greater than humans. There is a large number of diseases that humans and animals including mammals have in common like aging factors and immune system diseases. However, some diseases are specific to humans.

You would be thinking about sharks with Down syndrome. But this disease is common in humans and other animals like dogs and cats. The presence of Down syndrome-like chromosome abnormalities in sharks can also be increased by factors like pollution, mating with relatives, and genetic changes.

Understanding Down Syndrome

sharks with down syndrome

Down syndrome is a genetic disorder that is when a person has an extra copy of the 21st chromosome in their body cells. About 1 in 1000 babies are born with Down syndrome.

Normal human cells have 46 chromosomes (23 pairs). 23 chromosomes are contributed by the mother and 23 by the father. When the embryo is formed it contains 46 chromosomes, from which the baby is further formed.

Down syndrome you have 3 copies instead of just two which means you have 47 chromosomes in total instead of 46 some Symptoms of Down syndrome include the flat shape of the facial area, poor muscles, differently shaped eyes, and other health problems.

Learning skills, intellectual thinking, smartness, walking and talking abilities, and motivating themselves are a bit challenging for a person with Down syndrome. Their slow pace of mental growth affects them negatively which results in struggling a lot to prove themselves in school fitness and other intellectual activities.

People with Down syndrome will have 47 chromosomes in every single one of the cells in their body while others may have 47 chromosomes in only a few of their cells.

This has a really big impact on a person’s body. you might know somebody with Down syndrome and you might have realized that they’re extra super flexible.

Being flexible is awesome for things like doing yoga and stretching being super flexible is not so fun because it also makes you tired more quickly having Down syndrome affects the muscles of your mouth. And makes it harder for people with Down syndrome to learn new things. It can’t be cured but some important practices help the person live a better life.


So it is clear that there are no sharks with Down syndrome. Their genetic makeup is so much different from other animals and humans. The accurately sequenced genotype prevents the genetic mutation in the shark’s DNA which results in avoiding physical deformities.

Hammerhead sharks are considered to suffer from Down syndrome but this is wrong. They have naturally big fatty heads but this amazing piece of anatomy is their uniqueness. hammerhead helps them detect, observe, and catch prey.

However, sharks can suffer from other diseases like parasites, viruses, and bacterial infections. But this may be due to water pollution or feeding on toxic food. Humans are responsible for taking care of aquatic life and not letting it be polluted.


Can animals have Down syndrome:

No, Animals do not have Down syndrome. Down syndrome occurs when genes make extra copies on chromosome 21.

However, there are some other genetic disorders other than Down syndrome like trisomy 18 and trisomy 13. Trisomy is also caused by spontaneous genetic mutation having an extra copy of a chromosome other than 21.

Do hammerhead sharks have Down syndrome?

Well, the simple answer is no. Their unusual shape helps them to catch their favorite prey and use their wide head to trap stingrays by pinning them to the seafloor.

What are the symptoms of Down syndrome in animals?

Animals do not have similar chromosomes to humans. But there are similar genetic disorders that animals suffer for example, Cats have some symptoms like different behavior compared to other cats, small ears, abnormal eyes, low muscle tone, and heart problems.

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