Monday, February 21, 2011

Facts About Sharks - strangefacts

  • The number of Americans that are killed by sharks averages about one per year
  • More people die from eating sharks then from being eaten by them
  • In July 1978 Walter Poenisch swam from Cuba - an island in the Caribbean Sea to Florida in the United States. The waters are so dangerous he swam inside a shark cage and took just over 34 hours to complete the 207km (129mile) journey
  • Bruce was the nickname of the mechanical shark used in the "Jaws" movies
  • As many as 100 million sharks are killed each year for their meat and fins, which are used for shark fin soup
  • The megalodon shark became extinct about 1.6 million years ago and was double the size and weight of today's great white shark
  • A mother shark can give birth to as many as 70 baby per litter
  • The first sharks lived more than 400 million years ago—200 million years before the first dinosaurs. They have changed very little over the eons
  • Sharks belong to a group of fish known as the elasmobranchs, or cartilaginous fishes. Rays and skates, which may have evolved from sharks, also belong to this group
  • Because sharks very rarely get cancer, scientists study their cartilage in the hopes of finding a cure for the disease
  • Hammerhead sharks’ heads are soft at birth so they won’t jam the mothers' birth canals
  • When a shark eats food that it can’t digest (like a turtle shell or tin can), it can vomit by thrusting its stomach out its mouth then pulling it back in
  • While blood likely does not provoke a shark to attack, a shark in the vicinity likely can detect the blood. Without any conclusive proof of how sharks might respond, some scientists suggest women stay out of the water while menstruating
  • Weird things that have been found in shark stomachs include shoes, chairs, the rear half of a horse, a box of nails, a torpedo, drums, and bottles of wine
  • Angel sharks were once called monkfish or bishop fish because their fins look like flowing robes
  • Portuguese sharks live at depths of 12,000 feet, which is over two miles deep
  • Many species of sharks have a movable, transparent nictitating membrane that covers and protects their eyes when they are attacking and eating
  • A female blue shark's skin is three times thicker than a blue male’s to survive courtship bites
  • The 1975 movie Jaws fueled widespread fear and hatred of sharks, and the shark has been intensely hunted since. It is so endangered that many countries have taken steps to protect it. Ironically, the late Peter Benchley, the author of the book, supported shark conservation
  • Some sharks, like the wobbegong and angel sharks, are so flat that they look like they're part of the sea floor
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