Sharks may appear to be some of the most fearsome creatures of the oceans to many people. Encountering one can incite either fear or awe to any person. Even though that may be the case, it is still so unfortunate how these mysterious creatures have long been misunderstood by many. They can’t be blamed though as sharks are usually portrayed in films and books as voracious human eaters and attackers that coming face to face with one is something that no one would want. If you still have this sort of view about these underwater creatures, then it is about time for you to be enlightened through reading about some interesting facts about sharks. Most certainly, the way you see sharks will be totally different after you check this list.
- Even though most of us are familiar with only a few shark species, there are actually around 500 species of sharks of various shapes and sizes. Out of all of these, some of the most popular are great whites, hammerheads and tiger sharks.
- We all know that sharks kill a number of humans yearly but we do are not totally aware of is the fact that humans pose an even greater threat to the shark population. Every year, around 30 humans are killed by sharks. On the other hand, about 73 million sharks are killed by human activity each year.
- The smallest shark is the dwarf lantern shark. At maturity, they can reach only up to 6 inches. That means that these sharks can literally fit into your hand.
- On the other hand, the largest sharks to swim the oceans are the whale sharks. These gentle giants can grow up to a size of 46 feet.
- Sharks depend on their livers for buoyancy. This is due to the fact that the oil in their livers is much lighter compared to the water surrounding them. Their livers can make up to 25% of a shark’s body weight.
- Not all sharks can be found exclusively in bodies of saltwater. Bull sharks can survive in freshwater. Hence, you can expect to see a bull shark in lagoons, lakes and rivers. Some have even been spotted to be thousands of miles away from the ocean. There are such sightings in the Amazon River and Lake Nicaragua.
- Sharks have a reputation for being the most notorious predators to dwell the oceans. Despite this, sharks actually fall prey to a number of predators. They can be considered most vulnerable during their development stage. For instance, shark eggs are being preyed upon by other animals such as marine snails. In addition to this, bigger sharks usually eat their smaller counterparts. Whales are also known to attack sharks. However, out of all of their predators (which are rather few), humans can be considered as their deadliest predators. Millions of sharks are killed annually by humans for a number of reasons. This alarming rate is the reason as to why a number of shark species are considered endangered.
- Sharks have a number of physical characteristics that are interesting. One of these would be the fact that they can have up to 3,000 teeth at a time. Their teeth are arranged in up to 7 rows and throughout their lifetimes, they can have more than 30,000 teeth. Take note though that they don’t use their teeth for chewing food. Instead, they use it to tear down and rip their food into smaller pieces.
- Today, the largest known species of sharks are the whale sharks. But, did you know that thousands of years prior to today, there existed a prehistoric shark called the Megalodon? These prehistoric giants were the largest predatory marine animal to exist in earth’s history. It is said that they grew from 55 to 60 feet long during maturity and weigh about 100 tons. Their names mean “giant tooth” which implies how they had huge serrated teeth which had a length of over half a foot long.
- Thanks to their keen senses, sharks can easily prey on other animals. Thus, they have earned a reputation for being adroit predators. Their sense of smell is what they primarily use when targeting prey.
These are just a few interesting facts about sharks; the list goes on and on. It’s always great to learn new things about this enigmatic underwater creature.