In a literal sense, it’s difficult to imagine a predator more intimidating than the shark. Sharks are ocean lords, blockbuster movie stars, and objects of interest for any rational person who gets giddy every year when Shark Week rolls around. These magnificent beasts alternate between terrifying fear and constant wonder in our eyes.
However, despite the public’s fascination with sharks, the average citizen knows very little about them. We went on a treasure search for those razor-sharp chompers, which conceal a treasure trove of secrets and surprises.
Even these fearsome predators are afraid of something. Whenever they face killer whales or orcas near their hunting grounds, they have fled away. Sharks are very sensitive and aware of their surroundings. Here are some interesting facts about sharks. Have a look:
1. Sharks are devoid of bones
Sharks filter oxygen from the water with their gills. They’re a form of fish known as “elasmobranchs,” which means “fish made of cartilaginous tissues,” which is the clear gristly stuff that makes up your ears and nose tip.
Rays, sawfish, and skates are also included in this group. Their cartilaginous skeletons are much lighter than true bone, and their massive livers are packed with low-density oils, all of which contribute to their buoyancy.
Sharks can fossilize even though they don’t have bones. To reinforce their skeletal cartilage, most sharks deposit calcium salts as they mature. Shark jaws that have been dried look and feel heavy and strong, similar to bone. Many shark skeletons fossilize well, thanks to the presence of these rocks. Since the teeth have enamel, they appear in the fossil record as well.
2. Sharks have an innate sense of what’s going on around them
The ability to be aware of the surrounding is one of the smartest facts about sharks, I reckon! Sharks can detect prey by tapping into the small electrical fields that other animals produce using tiny organs called ampullae of Lorenzini, in addition to their killer sense of smell. These tiny pores around their nostrils, around their ears, and under their snout are almost undetectable. Pores attach to long, jelly-filled bulbs, which connect to nerves underneath the ability.
3. Sharkskin has a sandpaper-like texture
Since shark skin is made up of tiny teeth-like structures known as placoid scales, also known as dermal denticles, it feels like sandpaper. When the shark swims, these scales point towards the tail, reducing pressure from the surrounding water. This is one of the unknown facts about sharks having soft skin.
4. Sharks have existed for a long time
Their existence seems to be the facts about sharks that will surprise us all. Scientists believe sharks first appeared in the ocean about 455 million years ago, based on fossil scales discovered in Australia and the United States.
5. A shark is the world’s longest fish
The whale shark, which can grow to be 40 feet long, is the world’s biggest fish and holds the distinction of the world’s largest fish. But, if you happen to see one of these in the sea, don’t be alarmed: their primary food is plankton, which they consume by “filter feeding.” This involves scooping up a large volume of ocean water and filtering out the tiny plants and animals— it’s difficult to capture a human in that situation.
6. Sharks exist in hundreds of different types
Angel, bullhead, carpet, and dogfish sharks, as well as the weasel, mackerel, crocodile, zebra, and even catsharks, are among the nearly 500 species of shark. They come in various sizes ranging from a few inches to 40 feet long, live in various environments, and have an odd collection of physical characteristics.
7. Sharks can be pregnant for up to two years
One of the unique facts about sharks is their gestation period. You would think nine months is a long time, but the spiny dogfish shark species can take up to two years to mature before giving birth, making it the longest gestation period of any vertebrate.
8. Scientists use the rings on sharks’ vertebrae to determine their age
Concentric pairs of opaque and transparent bands are found in the vertebrae. The band pairs are counted like tree rings, and the count is used to determine the shark’s age. As a result, if the vertebrae have ten band pairs, it is thought to be ten years old.
Recent research has shown, however, that this presumption is not always true. Since the deposition rate of band pairs can change over time, researchers must study each species and size class to determine how frequently the band pairs are deposited. Validation is the process of determining the real rate at which the bands are deposited.
9. Blue sharks are truly blue in color
The upper portion of the body of the blue shark is a bright blue color, while the underside is usually snowy white. The mako and porbeagle sharks have blue coloration as well, but it isn’t as intense as that of a blue shark. Most sharks are brown, olive, or grayish in life.
10. No, sharks do not just live in the ocean
Just when you felt it was safe to enter the lake again… Sharks can be found in all of the world’s oceans, although a few species have been found in freshwater lakes and rivers. Bull sharks, for example, live in tropical rivers and have learned to swim in both salt and fresh water. River sharks have been discovered in rivers in South Asia, New Guinea, and Australia, as their name suggests. These facts about sharks suggest their adaptation capability is strong.
11. You can ride a shark
The biggest shark species is also one of the most laid-back. Hitchhiking swimmers have been known to be picked up by whale sharks, who then cruise across the water atop them. Experts in the field of marine life, however, warn against making this sport too common.
“When people put a lot of time and pressure on a fish, it removes the slime coating and may have negative health consequences for the fish,” said marine biologist Bruce Neill to ABC News. These fascinating facts about sharks are mostly unheard of.
12. Sharks don’t all have the same set of teeth
White sharks have triangular, serrated teeth, while makos have very pointed teeth. Each leaves a distinct, distinguishing mark on their prey. Throughout its life, a sandbar shark would have about 35,000 teeth! One of the amazing facts about sharks is the set of their teeth.
13. Shark species reproduce in a variety of ways
Sharks have a wide range of reproductive strategies. There are two types of species: oviparous (egg-laying) and viviparous (live-bearing). After the eggs are laid, oviparous species lay eggs that mature and hatch outside the mother’s body with no parental care.
14. The majority of sharks have excellent vision
Most sharks can see well in dimly lit environments, have excellent night vision, and distinguish between colors. A reflective layer of tissue called a tapetum is found on the back of sharks’ eyeballs. This enables sharks to see incredibly well in low-light situations.
These are some useful facts about sharks we all need to know. Sharks are one of the marine predator skilled and existed millions of years ago. Their evolution and characteristics have developed as the surroundings changed which developed their adaptation capability.(Last Updated On: April 15, 2021)