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Aug 10, 2020

18 Facts About Sharks You Might Not Have Known

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With Shark Week upon us, the world’s eyes are all on sharks. From the blacktip reef sharks off Australia’s Coast, to bi-water breathing bull sharks- these deep-sea creatures are both feared and loved by all. While we watch celebrities like Will Smith and Mike Tyson take us face to face with these sharks, there might be a few cool tidbits you didn’t know about sharks…

  1. Sharks don’t have bones. Instead that have cartilage, much like what makes up our nose and ears.
  2. Sharks have great vision, including night vision. They have a reflective layer of tissue on their eyeball, called the tapetum that helps them with this. That is why they hunt mostly at dusk or nighttime, because their prey cannot see their surroundings as well as the shark can.
  3. Sharks can go into a trance. Some sharks go into tonic immobility when they are upside down. This is similar to hypnosis.
  4. Sharks are 455 million years old. They have been around longer than T-Rexs, Mount Everest, and trees.
  5. Some sharks can pull water into their respiratory system to breathe, while others need to swim in order to push water into their gills. This is important because sharks don’t typically sleep—they are semi-conscious
  6. Some sharks give birth to live pups, while others lay eggs.
  7. Shark embryos are known to attack each other. The biggest one generally eats the smaller ones
  8. Sharks have a 6th sense. They use electromagnetic fields to detect prey.
  9. Shark skin feels similar to sandpaper. Shark skin is made of a tiny, hard, tooth-like structures called dermal denticles or placoid scales. This gives them tough armor and can injure prey.
  10. Female sharks generally are much bigger than male sharks (almost twice the size!)
  11. There are about 1,000 known shark species. New ones are discovered every year.
  12. Not all sharks need saltwater to survive, some species of sharks can live in freshwater lakes and rivers, like bull sharks.
  13. Some sharks can be pregnant for up to 2 years!
  14. Lightning strikes, hippos, deer, and cows are more deadly than shark attacks.
  15. A female shark can be impregnated with multiple partners at once.
  16. Shark litters are huge. Each mom can give birth to up around 150 pups.
  17. Sharks (megalodons) used to be the size of buildings (around 55ft tall).
  18. Sharks grow up to 50,000 teeth in a lifetime.