13 Awesome Facts About Sharks
Thankfully, they're not killer Sharktopuses (sharktopi?). However, the Australian black-tip shark has been found to be mating with their global counterpart, the common black-tip.
This is the first time it has been observed in nature. It is significant because the Australian black-tip is smaller and can only survive in tropical climates. Scientists are calling this "evolution in action" becuase the hybrids can survive in more climates.
They still don't know if the hybrid breed has the upper hand in the evolutionary chain. If they do, then they expect the Australian black-tip to slowly disappear over time.
A diver had a 2-hour Jaws moment when this Mako shark aggressively circled him and didn't leave. The shark wasn't even intimidated by a much larger Great White. Check out more pics at the source.
The man who invented the shark cage did so after being mauled by a great white shark!
In December 1963 (oh, what a BITE!), Australian scuba diver Rodney Fox was competing in a spear-fishing competition. The dead fish he was carrying attracted a shark that attacked Fox to within an inch of his life! The attack broke all the ribs on Rodney\'s left side, his upper stomach was fully exposed, lung ripped open, and he was minutes away from bleeding out entirely! Keeping his wetsuit on was likely the reason all his internal organs stayed together, and miraculously the main artery leading from his heart to his stomach was exposed but unharmed! A total of 462 stitches were required to patch Fox up, and he still has a shark tooth lodged in his wrist to remind him of that fateful day.
Given the fact that Rodney somehow managed to survive one of history’s worst non-fatal shark attacks, you would think he would avoid sharks or deep water altogether for the rest of his life. However, this is not the case at all. He went on to design the world’s first underwater observation cage and has continued to film and study his lethal foe for over 40 years! Over that span, Rodney has been involved in the production of nearly every shark feature and documentary film, including Jaws.
Sharks have several rows of teeth, two front rows for biting prey, and rows of teeth in the back that are used as backup. Sharks lack a hard jaw bone to keep their teeth in place, so they break and lose teeth all the time when they eat.
Shark teeth grow forward in a sort of 'conveyor belt' fashion, with lemon sharks having one of the highest replacement rates, replacing teeth every 7-8 days.
(Source: 1, 2)
Sharks grow rings on their vertebrae when they age just like tree rings on trees.
This can be useful in determining the age of a shark (though, only after the shark has passed away). Scientists have looked at the rings on a shark’s vertebrae and have found a correlation between the number of rings on a shark born in a captivity and the number of years they were alive. However, the downside to this is that older sharks may stop growing these rings.
This is called \"intrauterine cannibalism\". It\'s when a developing embryo consumes other embryos in the uterus of their mom. Many sharks engage in what is called \"oophagy\" which is when the embryos feed off of other eggs developing in their mothers. The grey nurse shark (aka the sand tiger shark) takes this a step further, eating both eggs and developing embryos. Talk about sibling rivalry!
Sharks started appearing in the Ordovician period over 400 million years ago, before the dinosaurs were around. Later, in the Carboniferous period, there was the \"Golden Age of Sharks\". Back then there were tons of different varieties of sharks, including sharks with spikes and armor. (Here\'s Dunkleosteus, an armored shark). Here\'s another scary pic to give you an idea how big they were.
The biggest shark came around after the dinosaurs were wiped out, about 16 million years ago. We know this shark as \"Megalodon\", the Mega Shark. \"Megalodon\" means \"big tooth\". Here\'s why. This shark was an estimated 80 feet long and weighed 50 tons - as much as FOUR schoolbuses. Compare that to the Great White, at only 42 feet in length.
For a more realistic depiction of what it would be like to meet a Megalodon, try this video.
(source 1, 2)
Some marine biologists believe that Great White sharks are coming to shore because they enjoy sunbathing. They swim toward shallow water to get more exposure to the sun, warm up their bodies, and yes, can even get a tan.
Great White Shark can also breathe easier in shallow water. The oxygen level in shallow waters is often higher, so sharks don’t have to work as hard to get oxygen to flow over their gills. Sharks have to move in order to breathe, but with more oxygen in the water, they don’t have to move as quickly. They can relax.
Hope you all had a good shark week!
Sharks use the effect water has on light to their advantage. In low light conditions, when the sun has recently risen or will soon set, light doesn't reach very far into the water. The light that does go deep is very distorted, which helps a shark to hide in otherwise clear water.
Sharks' backs have the perfect color for blending in during these conditions. From above, a Great White Shark's back is almost impossible to see in the right light. Marine Biologists have concluded that sharks hunt much more during the first two hours of sunlight, which helps to prove that they do this intentionally!
Coffins and caskets are very alike. They can both be made of either steel or wood, they can both decompose naturally into the soil, and they are both used to hold our loved ones as we place them into the ground. Although coffins and caskets share many things in common, they are indeed different. Imagine what you think a coffin looks like.
If you imagined a perfectly rectangular box, you thought of a casket! However, if you imagined a rectangular box that extends to the side where the person’s shoulders are, you imagined a coffin!
If being put in a box below the surface of the Earth gives you the creeps, don’t worry, you are not alone. In fact, in 1822 a doctor by the name of Adolf Gutsmuth designed a coffin with a feeding air tube! Just to prove that it worked, he tested himself by being buried and was able have soup, beer, and sausages in his coffin before being dug up again by his assistant!
Orcas hunt and eat Great White Sharks!
Sharks act calmer when listening to AC/DC!
This strange discovery was made by Matt Waller, a tour operator in Australia’s Neptune Bay. Despite the fact that they have no ears, the sharks’ favorite two heavy metal tunes were “You Shook Me All Night Long” and “Back in Black”. When Waller played these songs using underwater speakers, the Great Whites became “more investigative, more inquisitive, and a lot less aggressive.” It is not known for sure why hammerheads tend to be metalheads, but Waller believes it has something to do with the songs fitting a certain frequency and vibration in the water that the sharks must like. This sort of finding could revolutionize cage-diving procedures by using music instead of bait to lure in sharks during tours!