Shark Week is a big let-down. But sharks are still super cute!

  • Thursday, 27 July 2017
  • linda

Shark Week poster

Michael Phelps’ race against a computer generated shark will go down as one of the TV's most hyped flops. And, no, a giant prehistoric shark called a Megalodon doesn't continue to prowl the seas. But basically, this week’s shark week is a multimillion-dollar marketing ploy dressed-up as education.

However, sharks are really, really, really cute! So we're not above shamelessly exploiting the Discovery Channel's gimmick to share our favourite fun facts about these brilliant and bizarre creatures. The best part is, these are all true.

Sharks are ancient: Long before mammals, dinosaurs and even flowering plants, shark roamed the oceans. 400 million years ago, in fact. Sharks have survived at least four mass extinctions and we are still left with 500 shark species around.

Shark Week Great White Shark

They have no bones: Cartilage is the stuff that forms the skeletons of shark bodies, the very same tissues that make up our noses and ears. These light frames make them flexible and super swift swimmers.

They have awesome names: The biologists who came up with the names for some sharks were seriously having fun. There's the scalloped bonnethead, which sounds as if it's a clothing item in “Pride and Prejudice”. The very aptly named cookiecutter shark, cuts perfectly round chunks of flesh from their victims, some 50 times their size. Never mess with a cookiecutter. 

SharkWeek Cookie Cutter Shark

Their sixth sense is electric: Sharks use jelly-filled cells called ampullae of Lorenzini, to detect the disturbances in Earth's magnetic field generated by the movement of animals and waves. Saltwater is an amazing conductor of electricity, and the ampullae of Lorenzini are so sensitive that a shark could theoretically detect the current from an  AA battery 1,000 miles away

Lady sharks don't need a man: In some shark species, the females can give birth without ever meeting a male. The process involves mama sharks doubling their eggs' genomes, essentially cloning themselves.

Sharkweek Tiger Shark

 Baby sharks are hardcore: In several species, the mother shark keeps her eggs inside her body with pups hatching and developing in her uterus. However, sand tiger sharks take it one step further. They literally eat their siblings one by one inside her womb Luckily, Mom has no problem because it means she gives birth only to the strongest and fiercest pup, who are then more likely to survive in the wild.

Looking for more amazing shark facts? Visit our website and see what makes these animals so special.




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