Sharks are easily one of the most interesting and talked about animals in the world. Most people tend to fear them due to their monstrous appearance, and the way hollywood presents them. But on the upside, here are 20 of the most fascinating and interesting facts about sharks.
There Are Over 400 Species of Sharks
Many people tend to think of the hammerhead shark or the great white shark when thinking of sharks as they cannot name many. There are actually over 400 species of sharks in the ocean. There are even sharks that give birth like humans, or even lay eggs.
450 Million Years
Sharks have been around for over 450 million years. One of the oldest fossils found of a shark was in the state of Colorado, and was believed to be around 455 million years old. For being around for such a long time, you’d expect them to have evolved immensely, but if you were to have seen a shark 370 million years ago, they’d look incredibly similar to how they do now. The only difference is, that most sharks have evolved to become better natural predators.
Sharks Are Studied to Help Human Illnesses
Sharks rarely develop cancer and are immune to almost every disease known to mankind. Many scientists believe that sharks could hold the key to curing cancer, and developing medicines for other diseases. If this is true, then one of the most fearless and fierce predators in the ocean could one day save your life.
Sharks Are Usually Not The Threat
You may think that sharks are the biggest threat in the ocean, as they are magnificent predators, however it’s us that are far more dangerous to sharks. Humans kill on average 100 million sharks a year, whereas only around 36 shark attacks happen each year.
Ampullae of Lorenzini
The ampullae of lorenzini are special sensing organs called electroreceptors that are found in mostly sharks, rays, sturgeon, lungfish, and chimaeras. The purpose of these organs is to help fish sense electric fields in the water.
Sharks are categorized as cartilaginous fish as well as skates and southern stingray, because they are made of cartilage and not bone. Their cartilage skeleton is extremely durable and flexible, making it easier to maneuver through the water.
Sharks never run out of teeth. If they ever lose a tooth, another tooth will come forward from the rows and rows of backup teeth. It’s possible for a shark to grow up to 20,000 teeth during its lifetime.
The nurse sharks are incredibly lazy mainly due to their extremely slow metabolism. The nurse sharks metabolism is the slowest ever recorded for a shark. They are nocturnal, meaning they sleep through the day, and are active at night. These sharks have a sluggish lifestyle.
Sharks have amazing hearing and can detect much lower sounds than humans can. Sharks are able to hear sounds from over 800 feet away and many scientists believe that sharks use their hearing to detect their prey when first learning to hunt.
The shark’s most powerful sense is their smell, however it’s actually a myth that sharks can smell a single drop of blood from miles away. Although they can smell blood if it’s close enough to them.
Sharks Are Survivors
Sharks have survived through 5 massive extinction events. About 250 million years ago, about 90 percent of the ocean life perished in the Permian Triassic mass extinction event. This mass extinction really put most living organisms on earth to the test of survival.
The Largest Shark on Earth
The whale shark is the world’s largest shark. Growing to a length of 65 feet and weighing about 75,000 pounds, the whale shark’s appetite consists of zooplankton, jellyfish, squid and fish eggs.
The Smallest Shark on Earth
The dwarf lanternshark is the smallest shark in the world with a maximum known length of around 8 inches. These sharks are pretty much harmless to humans and are mainly only ever seen right off the coast of Colombia and Venezuela.
All Seven Seas
Sharks live in all seven of the oceans on Earth. Some species can survive in mixed salt and freshwater, while other species can live in just freshwater. Although 70 percent of the oceans are shark free.
Megalodon was the largest prehistoric shark to have ever lived and it was also the largest marine predator in history. The megalodon species roamed the seas during the Cenozoic Era, but became extinct around 2.6 million years ago.
Mostly all sharks are carnivores, meaning they are meat eaters only, as many people would expect. Most of the time you can tell by their teeth, as most meat eating animals have pointed teeth. Their diet mainly consists of fish and other sea mammals, and even other sharks.
The Way They’re Born
Baby sharks are called pups and they enter the world in a unique way. Depending on the species of sharks, some can lay eggs like a bird can, some may grow inside the mother like humans, and others, the eggs hatch inside the mother and then are born. Sharks can have between 1 to 100 babies depending on the species.
Great White Shark
Arguably the most feared shark in the world, the Great White is one the world’s largest known sea predator, and can be pretty aggressive. The Great White is notable for its size and their teeth are quite terrifying as well! The only predator the great white practically has is the orca.
One of The Rarest Sharks
The Megamouth Shark is one of the rarest sharks ever. Just obtaining a video or picture, could be very rewarding if given to a researcher. Being around one of these sharks can be dangerous, due to the lack of information on them. No one quite knows their interaction with humans.
One of the more funny looking sharks, the Hammerhead Shark is pretty easy to depict from the other sharks, mainly because of it’s oddly shaped head. But, their head size actually serves a purpose. The size of their head allows for them to have excellent sensory receptors in order to hunt their prey and move around easier. They also have electroreceptor sensors so they can feel vibrations in the water, which also helps them hunt their prey.