Shark Facts in Australia

Roaming the oceans for 400 million years, sharks pre-date dinosaurs by 200 million years and have barely evolved. With over 400 known species of sharks, the carnivorous fish, vary greatly from a Pygmy Shark measuring 17 cm long and weighing 1.3 kgs to the Whale Shark at 12 m long and coming in at a massive 13 tons.Largest Shark - The Whale Shark

Shark facts in Australia report that averaging speeds of 8 km/h, a top speed of 74 km/h and living 20-30 years these highly sophisticated animal25% off men's and women's underwears are decreasing in number and are among the most threatened ocean vertebrates.

These majestic creatures are surrounded by misconception and myths that strike fear into man, mainly due to the bad rap they get from the media and Hollywood. It is understandable when you consider they are on top of the marine food chain.

Not all are solitary with many sharks being social and will hunt in packs or congregating during breeding season.

Sharks do however need to keep moving in order for them to breathe. Most fish have only 1 gill but the shark has 5-7 gills and use their liver, which is about 30% of their body mass, as buoyancy instead of a gas swim bladder.

Their skeletons are made up of cartilage, which is lighter, durable and more flexible than bone saving them energy. Sharks jaws are not attached to their skull, they move independently giving them the ability to thrust their mouth forward and left their head to attach prey.

They can have up to 3,000 teeth at any one time and may lose around 30,000 in a lifetime. They can be needle-like (small sharks), serrated wedge-like (great whites), dense plate-like (grey nurse) or serve no purpose at all (whale sharks). They have 8 fins, 2 pectoral fins for lift, 2 dorsal, 2 pelvic and 2 anal fins for stability and their tail to propel forward.

Humans are not in the shark’s diet but they are mostly carnivorous. Live fish, crustaceans, seals, birds, plankton and other sharks are on the menu but they are known to feed on dead whales.

Sharks are salt water creatures apart from bull and river sharks which can live in both fresh and sea water. They don’t sleep or should I say they don’t enter a true state of sleep (no wonder they get grumpy). Periods of inactivity with the eyes open is how they ‘sleep’.

Sharks can detect blood in one part per million, have awesome eyesight, but don’t blink, some species can roll their eyes backwards and some have membranes over their eyes. Sharks have ears that detect sound 240 m away and electro-receptors to detect electromagnetic fields emitted by every living thing.

Sharks reach reproductive age at around 12-15 years and instead of ‘laying eggs’ with ‘give birth’ to pups to increase survival rate.

Great Whites

great-white-shark-398276_1920Found in every ocean in the world, they do however prefer to stay close to coastlines.

The fourth largest shark ever, Great White Sharks are also called White Shark, Great Pointer and White Death with the females being larger than the males.

Fully mature Great Whites can reach over 6 m in length and weigh over 3 ton.

They are light grey on top and white on the bottom, have 3,000 triangular serrated teeth in multiple rows.

They have very little fat which means they are pure muscle, but do have fat reserves in their liver for travelling long distances.

Great Whites are solitary hunters but do co-exist within hunting and breeding grounds.

They will charge prey from below and can jump up to 3 m in the air. Their diet consists of fish, seals, other sharks and the occasional whale carcass.

Although shark attacks cause major injure and can be fatal to humans these are usually a test bite to work out what the human is. They do not hunt humans.

Reaching reproductive maturity at around 15 years, they hatching their eggs internally, once strong enough they will give birth to anywhere from 1-5 pups, approximately 30 cm long and weighing 5 kg.

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Cheers – Stay safe people, in and out of the water.

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