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January 31, 2013

Do You Really Know About Sharks?

Written by Kirsty Barnby


Shark facts for y’all!

  • Sharks are shy, hesitant animals which have a hard time like any other.
  • Soda pop machine kill more people in a year than sharks do.
  • Road traffic accidents kill 1,200,000. Sharks kill about 5 people per year.
  • Elephants kill more people than sharks.
  • The world’s shark population has declined by 90%.
  • There is so much money in fins that only trafficking drugs rival the profits.
  • Fins are sold at $US200 per lb.
  • Sharks were here before dinosaurs and are one of the oldest living things on earth – 400,000,000 years old.
  • 2/3 of the earth is water and 80% of life is in the oceans, the shark is top of the food chain – before humans.
  • Some sharks have to wait 25 years until they can reproduce.
  • Support shark conservation whenever you can.

Check out our other blogs for future updates and more in-depth local insight into our eco island adventures. For more on sharks, check out this one.

Is a shark a mammal, a reptile, or a fish?

These are common misunderstandings about sharks. No, a shark is not a mammal like whales, nor is it a reptile like alligators. A shark is actually a fish!


How many bones does a shark’s skeleton have?

That’s a trick question – the answer is none! Sharks are cartilaginous fish , meaning that their skeletons are made entirely of cartilage (the same squishy material that is found in our human nose and ears).


What is the biggest shark?

What Shortfin Mako Sharks have in speed, the Whale Shark has in size. Perfectly named, a Whale Shark can grow to be as large as a school bus! In case you’ve blocked out having to ride one or they don’t have them in your neck of the world, school buses can be up to 37ft in length. Since most facts about sharks are typically reserved for the well known Great White Shark, let’s compare. They can grow 10 inches a year until they reach 12 to 14 feet. It’s easy to see that there is no comparison to the Whale Shark when it comes to length.


What is the smallest shark?

At only 15 cm long (6″), the tiniest species is the dwarf lantern shark. It could fit into the palm of your hand.


What shark is most common?

The ocean whitetip is the most common: this large shark is numerous in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. When you’re talking about smaller sharks, the spiny dogfish is the most common. It inhabits the North Atlantic in the millions.


How fast can the fastest shark swim?

The Shortfin Mako Shark is the fastest species of shark to date and can swim up to 65mph (over 100kph)! I’m sure I don’t need to point out that any shark will out swim you, but knowing there’s at least one that can reach a speed limit for cars is very impressive!