Sharks have a fearsome reputation as man hunters, but more people are killed by falling coconuts than sharks! Read on for more shark facts!
- Sharks have prowled the waters for over 400 million years.
- There are many breeds of sharks. The most well-known are:
a. Bull shark
b. Great White shark
c. Hammerhead shark
d. Nurse shark
e. Sand Tiger shark
f. Tiger shark
g. Whale shark
- The largest shark on record was a Whale shark. It reached up to 46ft.
- The smallest shark on record was a Dwarf Lantern shark. It reached 6 inches.
- The heaviest shark on record was a Whale shark. It weighed 13.6tonnes.
- The Shortfin Mako shark is the fastest shark in the world.
- Young sharks eat their own teeth when they are born.
- All sharks have triangular serrated teeth to kill their prey with.
- Many sharks are solitary hunters and will only merge with groups when it is breeding season or for migration.
- Many sharks are “finned” (slicing the top dorsal fin from the body) to make soup in Asian countries.
- Great White sharks belong to the Mackerel shark family.
- The Great White shark is the largest flesh-eating shark.
- It is capable of jumping up to 2m out of the water when hunting prey.
- 48% of hunts by a Great White, end in a kill.
- A Great White’s diet consists mainly of seals, sea lions, fish, and small dolphins.
- A female Great White can have up to ten young.
- They have been known to attack humans, and often mistake them for seals.
- Tiger sharks attack their prey from below, and drag them down, drowning them.
- Tiger sharks prefer warm, salty waters to inhabit.
- They have a striped back, which is useful for camouflage.
- A female Tiger shark can have up to eighty-two young.
- In 1935, a Tiger shark was taken into captivity by an Australian zoo. Days later, it regurgitated a tattooed arm. It was found that the arm belonged to a murder victim. Using the remaining DNA, it led the police to capture the murderer.
- The eyes of a Hammerhead shark are at either end of the “hammer”.
- The “hammer” prevents the shark from nose-diving when swimming.
- A female Hammerhead can have up to forty young.
- In 1974, Peter Benchley had a book published, which told of a Great White shark that terrorised a small coastal town. It was entitled, Jaws.
- In 1975, Jaws became a film of the same name, by Steven Spielberg. It spawned four sequels.
- The film was so successful a ride was opened at Universal Pictures. It took people for a ride around Amity Harbour, the site of shark attacks. During the ride, the boat is “attacked” by a Great White shark.
- In 2003, Disney and Pixar released a movie about a clownfish who is separated from his father. There were three sharks in the film, who claimed that, “Fish are friends, not food.” The sharks were Anchor (a Scalloped Hammerhead), Bruce (a Great White), and Chum (a Shortfin mako). The film was Finding Nemo.
- The San Jose Sharks are an ice hockey team in California. This is just one sports team with “sharks” in the name.