Nearly all people think of a shark as a violent huge predator with super sharp teeth ranging the sea in search of food. But in reality there are more than 400 different species. Nine hundred meters below the ocean surface lives the smallest shark: Dwarf Lanternshark. It grows to a maximum of 17 centimeters. So probably such picture of a hunter in a constant search of food is the result of Hollywood movies and especially Steven Spielberg’s”Jaws”.
A monster of many contradictions, a shark doesn’t have a single bone in it’s body, rather it has a skeleton made of cartilage. Sharks keenest sense – is odor. Their olfactory ability is well known. It can detect a single drop of blood in a million drops of water (100 liters) and can smell blood 0.4 km away. They have very good colour vision and directional hearing. Digestion process can take a long period of time as the food goes from the mouth to a’J’ shaped stomach, where it’s stored and initial digestion occurs. Most of the sharks live for around 25 years. In general, they float at a speed of 8 kilometers per hour but when feeding or attacking, thy reach up to 19 kilometers per hour.
In contrast to the common idea that sharks are instinct-driven creatures, studies showed that many species have social and problem-solving skills.
Sharks behaviour is increasingly becoming a topic of profound investigation for many researches. Most sharks are harmless to people. Out of 400 shark species, only two dozen are in any way really dangerous to us. Scientists though still don’t know for sure why sharks sometimes attack humans. One of those theories is that sharks may mistake the sound of swimming individuals for that of injured fish. The most studied sharks are Lemon sharks as they are able to live in captivity and are among of the most aggressive towards human sharks.
As anticipated, around 100 million sharks are being killed annually, primarily due to their fins. According to CNN”There are creatures more predacious than sharks: Humans.” Shark fin soup is a delicacy for the wealthy individuals on special occasions and it’s been part of Chinese culture for centuries. As soon as it’s possible to take out an important part of it, it is like a brick wall, you take out bricks [and] eventually it is going to fall.”
Oceans undoubtedly depend on sharks as they help to manage it’s ecosystem. Sharks have been swimming in the world’s oceans for over 400 million years, but today due to commercial fishing some species are at risk of extinction. Sharks became the unfortunate victim of man-hungry stereotype the world created for them. But in reality what the society should really fear is a world without bees