Questions and Answers about Sharks
Are sharks fish?
Yes! Sharks are classified as fish since they live in the water and use gills to breathe.
How long have sharks existed?
Sharks are believed to be older than dinosaurs! In their time of long existence, sharks have not changed very much!
Do sharks have bones?
Sharks are boneless. Instead, they are made of cartilage. Human ears, as well as the tip of a human nose, are composed completely of cartilage.
Can sharks live in freshwater?
When you hear the word shark, most people automatically think of the ocean. The ocean is completely full of salt water. However, some sharks can live in freshwater. The answer to this question depends on the species of sharks. Some sharks can live only in salt water, other can live in brackish water (a mixture of salt and fresh water), and others can live in both. The bull shark is the most well-known shark that can live in freshwater and salt water.
How many species of sharks are there?
Currently, there are more than 400 different species of sharks. However, the ocean is considered to be one of the last frontiers, and new species are expected to be uncovered as exploration of ocean depths continues.
How do sharks communicate with each other?
Sharks have extraordinary senses, but they themselves do not possess the sense of sound. Sharks, of course, cannot talk. However, they do communicate with each other through body language.Scientists have discovered great white sharks are known to use a behavior called gaping (opening their jaws) to communicate. Other shark species may use sight and touch to talk to their fellow sharks.
How do sharks breathe?
Since sharks are fish, they breathe using gills (small slit openings found on the side of their necks). Most sharks must continuously swim in order for water to pass over the gills, which results in oxygen. Some sharks have developed strong neck muscles that pump water over the gills.
Do sharks sleep?
This is a question that causes a lot of discussion with scientists. Most sharks have to swim in order to breathe. Other sharks possess special mechanisms allow for them to rest for longer periods of time. Taking all of this into account, most scientists agree sharks do not sleep in the sense that humans do. Instead, they have periods of rest and action. Some species of sharks can only rest for just a few moments at a time, and others can do it for an extended period.
What does a shark’s skin feel like?
A shark’s skin is not as smooth as it may appear to be. Shark skin is covered with placoid scales, tiny structures resembling teeth. These scales reduce friction when the shark is swimming. However, the scales also result in making the skin feel like rough sandpaper!
How many teeth do sharks have?
The number of teeth a shark has depends on the species. The largest amount of teeth is probably found in the mouth of a whale shark, which possesses over 3,000 pearly whites! Shark teeth are not as strong as human teeth and fall out constantly. Lucky for a shark, lost teeth can grow back in as little as one day!
What is the largest and smallest shark species?
The largest species of shark is the whale shark with an average length of around 42 feet. The smallest species of shark is the dwarf lantern shark with an average length of 6 inches. The dwarf lantern shark can fit in a human hand. To put this into perspective, it would take almost 100 dwarf lantern sharks to make one average whale shark ~ 92 to be exact!
What are the chances of being attacked by a shark?
Shark attacks have been receiving a lot of news coverage in the last few years. However, the chances of being attacked by a shark are not very high. You are much more likely to be struck by lightning than be attacked by a shark. People who regularly participate in marine, or ocean, activities have a slim chance of a shark encounter, but most beachgoers do not let this stop them from hitting the waves.
How long do sharks live?
This depends on the species of shark. Some species live as little as 16 years, while others, such as the whale shark, may live over 100 years!