Top 7 Facts about Sharks
They are scary and monstrous killer that wouldn’t spare anyone near them. We have see probably too many shark movies and had a nightmare or two, but these dangerous big fish are actually more than just a huge jaw that would tear you apart in two seconds. Sharks have some incredible survival skills and are some of the oldest creatures who remained to live in the deep waters of the oceans. Well, of course, you’d say, who is their threat? The following list that contains Facts about Sharks
#1. Their immune system can help humans
Sharks are one of the oldest animals with a so-called modern immune system, pretty similar to ours. Strangely it can actually be really helpful for the human immune system (bad news sharks, hopefully the humanity won’t kill all of you). Shark blood contains large quantities of urea, which protects them from dehydrating in their salt water habitat. Urea can also destabilize sensitive protein molecules such as antibodies, and similar levels would destroy those in humans. Sharks have an additional salt bridge between structurally important amino acid chains and a particularly large non-polar nucleus of the Immunoglobulin fold in their antibodies (these complicated explanation means that a they have special adaptations to handle all that urea). Researchers tried to integrat these adaptations into human antibodies, and the results showed increased stability that could lead to improved therapy and diagnosis for human diseases. Thanks sharks!
#2. Shark embryos can detect danger
Shark embryos, yes those little ones that live inside an external egg case can detect the presence of predators and freeze, to avoid being detected themselves. Adult sharks detect electric fields emitted by potential prey, and their embryos employ similar receptors to detect potential predators (so that’s how they managed to survive for ages as a species). When researchers created electric fields mimicking a predator, brown-banded bamboo shark embryos grew more still by reducing respiratory gill movements. So this means they are smart even before they are born.
#3. Humans and sharks have mutual ancestor and similar genes
Ok, hold your horses now, the ancestor is named canthodes bronni. By using more than 100 body characteristics, researchers compared resemblance among the earliest jawed fishes and found that Acanthodians as a whole clustered with ancient sharks. The descendants of this shark-like fish from the Paleozoic era split more than 420 million years ago into early sharks and the first bony fishes, and it is believed that humans eventually evolved from the latter. The connection in the genes of the great white sharks is associated with metabolism and its heart RNA molecules were more similar to those of humans.
Sharks generally have about 45 to 50 teeth, and you would say that is not a lot, but that’s just the “front row” teeth. They also have, on average, as many as seven replacement rows of teeth behind the front row, ready to move into place if a tooth is damaged or falls out. During their lifetime sharks are having all together more than 30 000 teeth. And that is just A LOT.
#5. They have body language
They don’t use sounds to communicate, but rely on body language. If you’re snorkeling or diving, it’s good to be aware of the body language sharks use to communicate. Hunched backs, lowered pectoral fins, sharp movements (in zig-zag or back-and-forth patterns), and diving down to touch the bottom are all good indicators that a shark is feeling uncomfortable, and you…well what in the world are you doing near the shark, seriously?
#6. Human is their biggest enemy
Even though they are scary and we believe that they are a huge threat for people (at least those who live near oceans) sharks’ biggest enemy is the human. 25 million sharks are killed by people on an annual basis, and the number is devastating. Sharks are killed for harvesting fins, hunting or in incidental “bycatch” in fishing equipment. There are 201 sharks on the “Red List” of endangered species, compiled by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Even though dangerous to humans and other ocean creatures, they are essential component in ocean ecosystems, and their rapidly dwindling numbers are a major source of concern among conservationists. Movements like Project AWARE are drawing attention to and fight the over-exploitation of sharks, and if you feel like you can sign their online petition to help and protect sharks.
#7. They are a living connection to the dinosaurs
Fossilized teeth and scales dating from about 400 million years ago give us clues about how those ancient ancestors looked. Today’s “modern” sharks appeared around 100 million years ago. The frilled shark, which is rare but still in existence, has evolved very little over the centuries and is considered one of the best examples of what early sharks looked like.