Sharks at a Glance

SC Surf Butler
Sharks at a Glance

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Shark Week begins this week on the Discovery Channel.   A program that I look forward to every summer.  So I thought that it would be appropriate to have a post dedicated to sharks.

Sharks have prowled Earth’s seas, essentially unchanged, for 400 million years. Their size, power, and great, toothy jaws fill us with fear and fascination. And though sharks kill only a few people each year, media coverage and movie portrayals of attacks have marked sharks as voracious killing machines. Our fears—and appetites—fuel an industry that hunts more than 100 million sharks each year and threatens to purge these vital predators from the oceans.

Great White Shark

 

Fast Facts

                    

Carcharodon carcharias

Type:
Fish
Diet:
Carnivore
Size:
15 ft (4.6 m) to more than 20 ft (6 m)
Weight:
5,000 lbs (2,268 kg) or more
Group name:
School or shoal
Protection status:
Endangered
Did you know?
Great whites can detect one drop of blood in 25 gal (100 L) of water and can sense even tiny amounts of blood in the water up to 3 mi (5 km) away.
Size relative to a bus:
Illustration: Great white shark compared with bus

Bull Shark

              Photo: A bull shark 

Fast Facts

Carcharhinus leucas

Type:
Fish
Diet:
Carnivore
Average life span in the wild:
16 years
Size:
7 to 11.5 ft (2.1 to 3.4 m)
Weight:
200 to 500 lbs (90 to 230 kg)
Group name:
School or shoal
Did you know?
Bull sharks have been found thousands of miles up the Amazon River, and in Nicaragua have been seen leaping up river rapids, salmon-like, to reach inland Lake Nicaragua.
Size relative to a 6-ft (2-m) man:
Illustration: Bull shark compared with adult man

Sand Tiger shark

Fast Facts    Photo: Sand tiger sharks cruise the waters

Carcharias taurus

Type:
Fish
Diet:
Carnivore
Average life span in the wild:
15 years or more
Size:
6.5 to 10.5 ft (2 to 3.2 m)
Weight:
200 to 350 lbs (91 to 159 kg)
Group name:
School or shoal
Protection status:
Threatened
Did you know?
Sand sharks survive well in captivity, and their large size and menacing appearance makes them an extremely popular addition to public aquariums.
Size relative to a 6-ft (2-m) man:
Illustration: Sand tiger shark compared with adult man

Tiger Shark

                              Photo: Tiger shark just below the surface

Fast Facts

  Galeocerdo cuvier

Type:
Fish
Diet:
Carnivore
Average life span in the wild:
Up to 50 years
Size:
10 to 14 ft (3.25 to 4.25 m)
Weight:
850 to 1,400 lbs (385 to 635 kg)
Group name:
School or shoal
Did you know?
The tiger shark’s reputation as an indiscriminate eater that will swallow anything it finds, including garbage, has earned it the nickname “wastebasket of the sea.”
Size relative to a 6-ft (2-m) man:
Illustration: Tiger shark compared with adult man

Hammerhead Shark

Sphyrna

         Photo: Hammerhead shark

Fast Facts

Ginglymostoma cirratum

Type:
Fish
Diet:
Carnivore
Average life span in the wild:
20 to 30 years
Size:
13 to 20 ft (4 to 6 m)
Weight:
500 to 1,000 lbs (230 to 450 kg)
Group name:
School or shoal
Did you know?
Hammerheads use their wide heads to attack stingrays, pinning the winged fish against the sea floor.
Size relative to a 6-ft (2-m) man:
Illustration: Hammerhead shark compared with adult man

Nurse Shark

Photo: A nurse shark on the sea floor

Fast Facts

Type:
Fish
Diet:
Carnivore
Average life span in captivity:
Up to 25 years
Size:
7.5 to 9.75 ft (2.2 to 3 m)
Weight:
200 to 330 lbs (90 to 150 kg)
Group name:
School or shoal
Did you know?
Nurse sharks are nocturnal and will often rest on the sea floor during the day in groups of up to 40 sharks, sometimes piled on top of each other.
Size relative to a 6-ft (2-m) man:
Illustration: Shark compared with adult man

Whale Shark

Rhincodon typus  Photo: Whale shark with small fish

Fast Facts

Type:
Fish
Diet:
Carnivore
Size:
18 to 32.8 ft (5.5 to 10 m)
Weight:
Average, 20.6 tons (18.7 tonnes)
Group name:
School
Protection status:
Threatened
Did you know?
The largest whale shark ever measured was 40 feet (12.2 meters) long; however, the species is thought to grow even bigger.
Size relative to a bus:
Illustration: Whale shark compared with bus
Hope you enjoyed these shark facts at a glance. 
See you at the beach!
See you at the

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