Sharks are simply fascinating. For most divers, swimming with the sharks is a breathtaking experience, especially when you know some of the most interesting facts about what makes these creatures of the sea so special.
Check out these unique facts about sharks:
Sharks have excellent dental health. Not only are their damaged teeth continuously replaced throughout their lifetime, they are covered in fluoride (fluoroapatite to be exact) making them resistant to decay.
Did you know some sharks can glow? Lantern sharks camouflage themselves from predators by emitting a similar level of light as what is coming from the water’s surface so they avoid casting a shadow. One example is the dwarf lantern shark that is found off the coast of Venezuela and Columbia, which can fit in the palm of your hand.
Shark mothers have a tough job. Not only must they have tough skin because they often are bitten during the mating process, the gestational period of their young can last anywhere from five months to two years, depending on the species.
Whale sharks are the biggest shark species in the world. And big sharks like big families – one female can have up to 300 pups in just one litter.
Living in warm, oceanic waters around the world, the cookiecutter shark is fairly small at 42 to 56 centimetres (17 to 22 inches), but is known to attack other much larger sharks. The name cookiecutter comes from the circular plug bites, reminiscent of an ice-cream scoop or cookie cutter, that it takes out of its victims.
A shark’s jaw is incredibly strong. One single bite applies up to 40,000 pounds per square in or pressure. Furthermore, sharks are able to dislocate their upper jaw, unlike us humans. This comes in handy while hunting and killing prey.
Although movies and TV teach us to fear sharks, it reality they are the ones that should fear us. About 100 million sharks are killed each year by humans for numerous reasons, including for their fins, teeth, meat or vertebrae. To protect sharks from extinction and the delicate ecosystems they help balance, visit www.projectaware.org.