In a literal sense, it’s difficult to imagine a predator more intimidating than a 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.

Shark Facts

Even these fearsome predators are afraid of something. They have fled away whenever they face killer whales or orcas near their hunting grounds. 

Facts About Sharks

Sharks are very sensitive and aware of their surroundings. Here are some interesting facts about sharks. Have a look:

1. Sharks filter oxygen

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.

2. Sharks are devoid of bones

Sharks can fossilize even though they don’t have bones. Most sharks deposit calcium salts to reinforce their skeletal cartilage 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 also appear in the fossil record.

3. Sharks have an innate sense of what’s going on around them

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. 

The 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.

4. 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 toward the tail, reducing pressure from the surrounding water.

5. Sharks have existed for a long time

Scientists believe sharks first appeared in the ocean about 455 million years ago, based on fossil scales discovered in Australia and the United States. The existence of these marine creatures is one of the astounding facts about sharks.

6. 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.” 

Filter feeding 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.

7. Sharks species

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, living in various environments, with an odd collection of physical characteristics.

8. Great white shark

The great white shark is found on the coastal surface of waters and is also known as a white shark or white pointer. The great white sharks swim at a 25 km/hr speed and to depths of 4,000 ft. 

The colors of the great white shark are mostly black and white. Some sharks possess bright blue hues, like blue sharks, and others have spots like leopard sharks.

The lifespan of the great white shark is estimated to be around 70 years or more and is one of the longest living cartilaginous fishes. The male reaches its sexual maturity at 26 years, and the female can produce offspring after 32 years.

They are known as the fiercest predator of all marine mammals, while their known predator in the ocean is the whale shark, and they rarely encounter each other.

The recently operated survey by Guardian states that only 3,500 great white sharks are left in the wild- the same number as the Bengal tigers.

9. Sharks can be pregnant for up to two years

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.

facts about sharks

10.  Shark’s age is calculated through vertebrae

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. However, recent research has shown 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. Greenland sharks are the vertebrae with the longest lifespan, with an average of 200 to a maximum of 400 years.

11. Blue sharks are truly blue

The upper portion of the body of the blue shark is a bright blue color, while the underside is usually snowy white. These blue sharks are unique among all their other counterparts.

facts about sharks

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.

12. 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. 

13. 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. 

“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. 

However, experts in marine life warn against making this sport too common. Some strict attention and authoritative personnel’s intervention will consider the existence of these marine species.

14. Sharks don’t 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 its prey. 

facts about sharks

Throughout its life, a sandbar shark would have about 35,000 teeth. One of the amazing shark facts is the set of their teeth.

15. Reproduce in a variety of ways

Sharks have a variety of reproductive processes depending on the species. There are four types of reproduction in shark species: oviparous (egg-laying), ovoviviparous, asexual, and viviparous (live-bearing).

Oviparous species lay eggs that mature and hatch outside the mother’s body with no parental care. The egg is called a “mermaid’s purse.” 

The egg varies in appearance from size to shape, depending on the shark species. The embryo is fed from the shark egg’s yolk, like chicken eggs, with every essential nutrient required to survive.

In ovoviviparous species, they have a thinner egg, and the embryo is nourished with the nutrients from the egg yolk rather than the placenta. The egg hatches inside the uterus, but the pup is not laid out until it fits for survival. 

These pups engage in oophagy, where they feed on the weaker sibling to survive, resulting in fewer pups as many suffer cannibalism. This type of reproduction is seen generally in snakes.

In viviparous species, the egg hatches in the uterus. The embryo inside the oviduct is fed via the placenta or umbilical cord and transfers back the excrete to the mother for excretion.

In asexual reproduction, the female shark fertilizes the egg without mating with the male. This process is known as parthenogenesis or virgin births and is extremely rare.

16. 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, enabling them to see incredibly well in low-light situations.

These are some useful facts about sharks we all need to know. Sharks are skilled marine predators and existed millions of years ago. Their evolution and characteristics have developed as the surroundings changed, developing their adaptation capability.

(Last Updated On: June 1, 2022)