The 14th of July is Shark Awareness Day! That means it is officially time to celebrate the ocean’s most recognisable predator. This day is also meant to address the negative image surrounding sharks and help us realise that they are not what Hollywood makes them out to be!
Scientists believe that sharks have been around for more than 400 million years. That’s about 200 million years before the dinosaurs came to be! The first true shark was called the Cladoselache. What a horrible name, right?! Don’t worry. They have been extinct for many years. Their fossils have remained, however, and they teach us that sharks are one of the oldest animals to remain on Earth.
These days, sharks are feared, and mostly it is for a good reason. They are ferocious predators. But they are not the villains that many people make them out to be. Sharks have no need to eat humans. In fact, they hate the way we taste! They would much rather eat fish and other marine life.
There are many groups and individuals that are trying to save sharks every day. About one-third of the sharks in the ocean are in danger of extinction. This is because of overfishing and other elements. Scientists tag sharks with special tracking gadgets to keep an eye on them. They also use this to learn all about how far they can swim, where they like to go, and how big different groups of sharks get. All of this information and more is vital to the saving of our sharks.
Want to learn more about how sharks are tagged? Click here to visit Ocearch!
Weird and wonderful sharks
- The Bull shark: This huge shark is the only shark that can thrive in saltwater and in freshwater. They have been spotted in rivers and in oceans all over the world.
- The Goblin shark: This shark is actually quite scary-looking and has a weird way of eating its food. Its jaws can completely shoot out from its head, almost like the tongue of the chameleon. They are also a strange greyish-pink color.
- The Hammerhead shark: They are quite common in every way, except appearance. Their heads are a strange shape to accommodate their great sensory organs. They use these extremely sensitive sensors to locate and hunt their food.
There are many species of endangered sharks. If you want to help save the sharks click here to donate to the Shark Conservation fund!