Sharks are some of the most dangerous creatures on earth for humans, right? Wrong! Unfortunately, Jaws and other similar movies have antagonized sharks for decades and have even convinced numerous people that these creatures are nothing but massive killing machines.
However, the truth is that not all sharks are so bad. In fact, sharks don’t generally go for humans as their prey and usually attack when they mistake people for other fish. You’re actually much more likely to get injured in a car accident than be attacked by a shark, so stop fearing them so much! There’s far more to sharks than you might expect. They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and have amazing abilities which help them get through with life. Here are four facts to help you familiarize yourself with this amazing species:
Sharks Come In Big And Small Sizes
When most of us hear the word ‘shark’, we immediately tend to think of the great white shark, but there are so many other sharks out there and they all come in varying shapes and sizes. You’ll be surprised to know that the biggest fish in the ocean is a shark, too! The whale shark can grow up to 40 feet long and is extremely heavy – it’s a good thing that its diet mostly consists of krill, which is what whales tend to eat as well; otherwise, the rest of the ocean would have been in big trouble had this fish been a hunter like the great white shark. In sharp contrast, the dwarf lantern shark is just a dot when compared to these giants and is generally 8 inches in length.
The Whale Shark Loves Its Privacy
The fact that we’ve yet to see a female whale shark give birth is proof of this notion. Whale sharks love to keep to themselves and don’t want anyone intruding about, which is the reason behind them being so secretive about where they give birth. There are speculations about where they might lay their babies, including coral reefs and perhaps even islands that no one bothers to visit, but none of that’s been proven yet and we’re just going to have to wait until we can witness the process of whale sharks being born. Most of the whale sharks that we’ve seen in the wild have been male, with only 30% being female. Regardless of that, however, this species of shark is one that’s harmless to humans unless you spook it and will keep to itself for the most part.
Sharks Have Different Types Of Teeth
Once again, when you think of shark teeth, you’ll probably picture the frightening rows of teeth that great white sharks have, and that picture has probably been cemented into your imagination due to movie posters of Jaws and Finding Nemo. However, different sharks have different prey, which means that their teeth are adapted to what they need to chew on. Great white sharks eat other fish, which is why they’ve got razor sharp teeth that can cut through anything, while whale sharks have blunt ones that aren’t of much use in terms of feeding as their main source of food is krill. Some species of shark even have shellfish in their menu and have flat sets of teeth so they can easily crush the shells of the creatures that they eat. However, all sharks have rows of teeth that replace the front ones every 14 days or so and keep on moving forward one row at a time.
Sharks Don’t Have Scales
While most fish have scales on their bodies, sharks have something called dermal denticles, and their texture is much closer to that of their own teeth rather than the scales of other fish. This helps them swim more smoothly in water, something they desperately need since it’s their job to catch and eat other fish in order to survive.
Sharks are some of the coolest creatures alive, and to paint them with a broad brush is a pretty unfair thing to do. There’s much more to them than we could ever cover in a single article, but hopefully, this has been more than enough to peak your interest and change your mindset about them.