Sharks are intelligent, fascinating creatures – and they’re also quite diverse. In fact, there over 400 species of sharks, ranging from tiny ones that can fit into a fishtank, to incredibly large sharks that survive on fish eggs. In honor of Shark Week, we’ve compiled some interesting facts about these fascinating creatures. Keep reading to learn more!
20 Fascinating Facts About Sharks
1. Not all sharks are dangerous! In fact, only 25 out of all 368 species of sharks are interested in humans.
2. You’re more likely to be hit by an asteroid than die from a shark attack.
3. Sharks do not have a single bone in their bodies! Their skeleton is made up of cartilage, which is the exact same thing your ears are made of.
4. Sharks predate the dinosaurs by 200 million years.
5. The extinct C. megalodon is thought to have been up to 67 feet long, making it the largest known species of shark.
6. Thanks to its streamlined shape and powerful tails, the great white shark can swim at speeds up to 30 miles (60km) per hour!
7. The exterior of shark teeth contains fluoride – kind of like built-in toothpaste!
8. The foot of a duck-billed dinosaur was found with a shark tooth inside it. That’s one brave shark!
9. Great white sharks off the coast of Seal Island, Africa are known to jump 10 feet to catch seals!
10. During the Middle Ages, fossilized Megalodon teeth were thought to be the petrified tongues of dragons!
11. You’re probably bigger than most sharks! 50% are less than 3 feet long, and 30% are between three to six feet long.
12. Great white sharks eat 11 tons of food each year. That’s a whopping 22,000 pounds of food!
13. Baby sharks are called “pups”.
14. Unlike many animals, shark pups leave their mother and swim off to fend for themselves almost immediately after birth.
15. Unlike most animals, both the shark’s top and and bottom jaw can move separately.
16. Surprisingly, sharks lose their teeth pretty easily. Thankfully, they can also regrow them! In fact, some sharks will have over 50,000 teeth during their lifetime.
17. While both the whale shark and the basking shark are the two largest sharks in the ocean, both feed off of plankton and fish eggs.
18. Studies have shown that sharks are quite smart. In fact, they’re capable of mapping trips spanning thousands of miles!
19. The spined pygmy shark is thought to be the smallest shark, typically measuring a mere 7 or 8 inches in length.
20. Sharks are important to the ocean’s ecosystem! Unfortunately, the shark population is rapidly diminishing due to a practice called “shark finning”. In fact, 74 species are currently listed as threatened, and 11 species are critically endangered.
Discover even more fun facts about sharks and learn what you can do to help save them by checking out these fun Shark Week activities on Wizard school!
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