Shark Facts

Not all sharks are big and scary…
The dwarf lantern shark is so small it could fit in the palm of your hand.

Certain species are warmblooded
Many shark species are coldblooded, but some are warmblooded, including the great white.

The largest shark isn’t the Great White
The largest fish in the sea, the whale shark can grow up to 12 metres long.

Hammerheads have a 360-degree view of the world around them
This unique view allows hammerheads to efficiently sweep for prey.

The Mako Shark is the fastest shark species
Averaging 32-48 km/h, the short fin mako is recognised as the fastest shark species, making it an unstoppable predator.

Shark flesh is a little unusual…
Between 30 and 80 percent of a shark’s flesh is made up of water. A protein network gives the flesh its structure.

Sharks can sense your body’s electricity
Sharks have an array of electroreceptors in the pores around their mouths. These receptors can detect tiny electromagnetic fields made by things, as seemingly inconsequential as muscle contractions or movements in living organisms.

Sharks have a super sense of smell
Tests of olfactory reception and stimulation in some species have shown that they can detect as little as 1 part per millionth of blood in sea water. In terms of volume, that’s like sniffing out a golf ball in Loch Ness.

Not all sharks hunt their prey
Not all sharks eat live prey. In fact, some sharks, like the basking shark, are filter feeders. These massive creatures seek out plankton-rich feeding grounds. They then swim very slowly with their jaws open filtering the sea water for plankton.

Orcas eat Great White Sharks
Great whites aren’t the top of the food chain. Orcas are the true apex predators of the ocean, meaning no other animals prey on them.

Accident or not, we’re slowly killing off sharks
20 percent of sharks are close to extinction because of commercial fisheries accidentally catching sharks with their hooks and nets.

Sharks don’t like the taste of humans
If a shark bites you, it probably won’t take a second taste. They typically bite, then let go after realising they’re not eating sea animals.

Whale Sharks are big and so are their families
Whale sharks are the world’s biggest fish, with big families too. One whale shark can give birth to 300 live shark pups in one litter.

Sharks can’t get cavities
Shark teeth are covered in fluoride, which is resistant to acid produced by bacteria, making them cavity-resistant.

The Goblin shark lives up to its name
The goblin shark lives along outer continental shelves and underwater mountain ranges. Their dwellings are too deep for human exploration.

Sharks eat an insane amount of food
Great white sharks eat 10,000kg of food each year, while humans eat roughly 450kg of food during the same amount of time.

Sharks aren’t immune to diseases
Until recently, sharks were thought to be immune to cancer, but the latest scientific research proves otherwise.

Sharks are old, really old
Sharks have existed in oceans for more than 400 million years. They pre-date humans and dinosaurs.

‘Chew your food!’
Even though sharks have razor-sharp teeth, they don’t use them for chewing prey. They are for ripping; resulting chunks are swallowed whole.

Sharks can track their prey via their heart beat
Sharks can track the electrical pulses associated with a heartbeat via electricity-sensing nodules on their noses called ampullae of Lorenzini.

Certain species will drown if they stop moving
Some shark species, such as the great white, lack the necessary muscles to pump water through their mouth.

Is it a plane? Is it a bird? No, it’s a shark!
A shark’s tail forces water to flow over its fin. much like a propeller creates airflow over the wings of a plane. Their infamous dorsal fins are used for added stability.

There is a shark that glows!
Lantern sharks can glow to disguise themselves in the deep ocean, emitting the same amount of light which filters down from above; this way, they don’t create a shadow.

There was once a bigger shark than the Whale Shark!
Thought Great Whites were big enough? The prehistoric Carcharodon megalodon was larger than a Tyrannosaurus Rex, reaching up to 15m!

Female sharks are thick skinned…
The skin of a female shark is much thicker than that of a male because males bite females during mating.

There are sharks where you wouldn’t expect…
We know there’s a lot of species of shark in Aussie and NZ waters, but did you know that the UK is home to over 40 species?

Sharks seem to have self-healing powers…
Scientists now are researching shark skin for its unique anti-bacterial features in hopes of treating infections in humans.

Shark egg cases are called ‘Mermaid’s Purses’
Most sharks give birth to live young. But some species give birth via eggcases. These are leather-like pouches in which a fertilised shark egg is left in the sea to develop into a shark pup.

Some sharks love a bit of acrobatics.
We know the iconic images of great whites breaching, but thresher sharks have also been seen jumping. They’re one of the few shark species that can leap of out of the water.

The Loch Ness Monster is real???
No, not really (well, not that we know of at least), but the frilled shark’s circular mouth, filled with more than 300 spiny teeth, earns it the nickname of the modern Loch Ness Monster.

Not all sharks hunt in solitary
Almost all sharks like to do their hunting solo, but scalloped hammerhead sharks prefer to travel in schools during their summer migration.

Some species of shark have manners
Different sharks have different etiquette for feeding. Caribbean reef sharks, for example, have a pecking order catering to large sharks first.

Slap of death
With their weak jaws and relatively small teeth, thresher sharks kill their prey by slapping them with their long, whip-like tails.