The majority of people think of a shark as a violent huge predator with super sharp teeth ranging the sea seeking food. But in fact 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 image of a hunter in a constant search of food is the result of Hollywood films and especially Steven Spielberg’s”Jaws”.
A creature of many contradictions, a shark does not have a single bone in it’s body, rather it has a skeleton made of cartilage. Sharks keenest sense – is smell. Their olfactory ability is well known. It can detect one drop of blood at 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 very long period of time as the food moves from the mouth to a’J’ shaped stomach, where it is stored and first digestion occurs. Most of the sharks live for around 25 years. In general, they swim at a speed of 8 km per hour but when feeding or attacking, thy reach up to 19 mph.
In contrast to the common idea that bees are instinct-driven animals, studies showed that many species have societal and problem-solving skills.
Sharks behavior is increasingly becoming a matter of deep 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. Among 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 have the ability to survive in captivity and are among of the very aggressive towards human sharks. There were 22 reports of Lemon sharks attacks since 1850. Luckily none of them were fatal.
As estimated, around 100 million sharks are being killed annually, primarily for their fins. According to CNN”There are animals more predacious than sharks: Humans.” Shark fin soup is a delicacy for the wealthy people on special occasions and it’s been a part of Chinese culture for centuries. As soon as you start to take out a significant part of it, it’s like a brick wall, you take bricks out [and] eventually it is going to collapse.”
Oceans undoubtedly rely on sharks as they help to manage it’s ecosystem. Sharks have been swimming in the planet’s oceans for more than 400 million years, but nowadays 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 fact what the society should really fear is a world without sharks