Shark Week 2011: Status of the Shark
Did you know that…
- …sharks have tooth-shaped scales called denticles, and that these allow the sharks to move faster and more smoothly in the water? The denticles also prevent the algae and barnacles from accumulating on the shark’s skin.
- …a female shark can get pregnant without ever touching a male shark? This is called parthenogenesis. Only very few cases of parthenogenesis have been documented, though.
- …the eating habits of sharks are affected strongly by the ocean tides. Depending on the phase of the moon, sharks move closer to the shore to catch their prey.
- …there is a tiny shark species that is a mere 8 inches (20 centimeters) long? Pygmy sharks are among the tiniest in their family and they can produce their own light to help them hunt in deep waters.
These are only a few of the shark facts that the Discovery Channel has put up in their web site, in keeping with the tradition called Shark Week.1 We are nearing the end of this year’s celebration, but it still is worth highlighting this cause which was started in 1987. Today, the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week celebration has gotten a lot of attention all over the world, with various groups joining in to promote the awareness campaign about the plight of the shark.
The Discovery Channel has also released an infographic giving some interesting details about one of the most feared creatures on earth.
- Sharks as we know them today have been around for 34,000,000 years!
- A single whale shark racks in USD 250,000 for Australia every year. Don’t worry – it’s all about ecotourism!
- In comparison, a single whale shark killed in India can bring in anywhere from USD 600 to USD 3,000. It’s a no brainer which activity is more profitable, huh?
- In Hong Kong, a single bowl of shark fin soup costs USD 100.
- From 1999 to 2009, only about 5 people have been killed by sharks. Compare that to the 73 million sharks that are killed every year!
- From 1970 to 2005, the shark population in US waters has been cut down by 99 percent! Yes, the sharks need humans to leave them alone!
As Shark Week ends, let’s continue to spread the word about these wonderful creatures who have been around for far longer than we have.