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It’s Shark Week — Here Are 17 Shark Facts That Are Really, Really Cool

It’s Shark Week — Here Are 17 Shark Facts That Are Really, Really Cool

1. Sharks have been around for a really long time.

Sharks have existed for over 400 million years, even before dinosaurs roamed the Earth. That’s some serious staying power!

2. There are over 500 species of sharks.

From the tiny dwarf lantern shark to the massive whale shark, there’s a lot of variety in the shark world. Each species is unique and has its own special traits.

3. Some sharks can glow in the dark.

Bioluminescent sharks, like the swell shark, can produce light through their skin. This cool feature helps them hide from predators.

4. Sharks don’t have bones.

Instead of bones, sharks have cartilage, which is the same stuff that makes up your ears and nose. This makes them lighter and more flexible in the water.

5. They have amazing senses.

Sharks can detect one drop of blood in a million drops of water. They also have an incredible sense of smell and can even sense electric fields produced by other animals.

6. Sharks are older than trees.

Believe it or not, sharks have been around longer than trees. Sharks appeared about 50 million years before the first trees existed.

7. Some sharks can live for centuries.

The Greenland shark can live up to 400 years, making it one of the longest-living vertebrates on the planet.

8. Sharks don’t sleep like we do.

Instead of sleeping, many sharks have periods of rest where they reduce their activity but remain alert. Some even keep swimming while they rest to keep water flowing over their gills.

9. Not all sharks have to swim constantly.

Some species, like the nurse shark, can pump water over their gills while resting on the ocean floor, so they don’t need to swim constantly to breathe.

10. Baby sharks are called pups.

Just like dogs, baby sharks are called pups. Depending on the species, a shark can give birth to anywhere from 1 to 100 pups at a time.

11. Sharks have multiple rows of teeth.

Sharks can have up to 3,000 teeth at once, arranged in multiple rows. They continuously lose and replace their teeth throughout their lives.

12. The largest shark is the whale shark.

The whale shark can grow up to 40 feet long, making it the biggest shark and the largest fish in the ocean. Despite their size, whale sharks are gentle giants and feed mostly on plankton.

13. Great white sharks can jump out of the water.

This spectacular move is called breaching. Great whites can leap out of the water to catch prey, especially seals.

14. Hammerhead sharks have a 360-degree view.

Thanks to the unique shape of their heads, hammerhead sharks have a 360-degree view, which helps them spot prey more easily.

15. Sharks help keep the ocean healthy.

As top predators, sharks play a crucial role in maintaining the balance of marine ecosystems. They help control the populations of other species, keeping the ocean healthy.

16. Some sharks can walk on land.

The epaulette shark can “walk” on land using its pectoral fins. This ability helps it move between tide pools when the water level is low.

17. Sharks are not as dangerous as you think.

While sharks have a scary reputation, shark attacks on humans are actually very rare. You’re more likely to be struck by lightning than bitten by a shark.

Dive into Shark Week with these fascinating facts and appreciate just how amazing these creatures are!

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