Bull Sharks

Bull Shark

All the shark fear is mostly due to the Bull Shark. This shark is the most aggressive among all the other types of Shark. Another factor is that the bull shark loves warm sea water. Hence they are generally found near the shores in heavy populated areas. They can survive in rivers too, but that is not their natural habitat.

The bull sharks live in shallow waters never diving deeper than 30 meters. Hence they are the major threat along the coast. 95% of the total human deaths from shark bites have been due to the bull shark. One very interesting fact is that the bull Shark has been spotted very frequently in Brisbane river in Australia. Well the sharks seems to love the island continent. This is really weird as scientific evidence says that Bull Sharks cannot breed in fresh water.

They eat all kinds of fish, turtle and sometimes birds too. Their way of hunting a prey is to nudge and bite. They will first make contact with their snout and then bite and bite until the prey surrenders. Now that you know that they nudge first, be careful when you get a nudge from under water while swimming or surfing on waves.

But in spite of being a dreaded hunter it is essential that Bull Sharks remain in the coastal waters. If they are not there stingrays will multiply and the coastal waters will not be fit for swimming ever. Yes folks the main food of Bull Sharks are stingrays and they live in coastal waters because their main food is here. They are not here for us!

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Tiger Sharks: The Fearsome Predator

Tiger Shark

You can see the stripes on their young ones. The stripes are just like on a tiger hence the name. The tiger shark is one of the most feared sharks everywhere. They have insatiable hunger. You can escape after a bite from The Great White, but if a tiger shark bites you, God can only help you.

The tiger shark has the tendency to continue attacking until their prey is devoured. This makes them earn the name for themselves as man eaters. They are scavengers of the sea, and their presence is good for the water. They keep the water clean and help keep population of other species in check. Their food range is amazing. They can eat almost anything in their vicinity. Their powerful jaws can even crack the strong turtle shells which we find hard to break.

They are commonly found in tropical and sub-tropical waters. A fully grown tiger shark is up to 25 feet in length, sounds fearful doesn’t it? They are feared and killed for their skin and oil. This has led to the dwindling population as the population growth of this species is very slow. They are in the endangered species list and conservation has helped them increase in number over the past five years. Fearful but essential creatures of the sea need protection.

Interesting facts about Sharks

Shark facts

Sharks are much feared due to their negative publicity by the movies, none more than the Steven Spielberg directed “Jaws”. Shark was depicted as a man eating monster. But this is far from truth. Shark is an animal which brings harmony to the sea, and is an essential cog in the Eco-system wheel of sea. Here are some interesting facts about this animal we are in awe of:

  • They grow 30000 teeth – No they have only 45 or so teeth at one time. But Shark’s teeth fall and grow very frequently. The good thing is that the teeth grow back very quickly. Crazy is it not?
  • No bones – Yes they are cartilaginous fish and do not have a single bone in their body.
  • Born Predator – Sharks are born predators. One of the shark types the tiger shark known for its aggressive nature is born predator. The first one to come out of the womb devours its siblings.
  • Ancient Creatures – Sharks have been there 210 million years before Dinosaurs, and are still there. They are successful and great survivors.
  • Shark attack is very rare – It has been popularized by movies but Shark attacks on humans is rare. Only 30 deaths occur due to sharks attacks annually. This is less tan people killed by lightening strike. Extremely unlikely.
  • We humans are predators of sharks – It is a fact that we have killed more sharks than sharks have killed us. The numbers do not lie. One human per two million shark.
  • Great adapters – Sharks can live both in salty and fresh water equally easily. They do so by regulating their blood. Extreme adaptation is it  not?

The Great White Shark

The great white shark
The great white shark

Popularised by “Jaws” movie as the ultimate sea monster the great white is a beautiful creature. It is scary but a natural marvel.It is found  in coastal surface waters of all oceans. It is a frequent sight on Australian coastal waters. It is a big animal measuring 26 feet. It reaches maturity at 15 years and lives a long life up to 70 years. It is one of the largest predators of the sea.

Fun facts about great white:

  • Weight – Weighing 5000 lbs it is one of the heaviest creatures. It is not the largest shark, but the most aggressive one.
  • Diet – Its natural prey are seals and sea bulls. they are carnivorous and even eat dead animals. Hence they qualify as scavengers as well. They keep the water clean as indicated by a recent study by national geographic.
  • The baby – A weird fact about the shark bay known as pup is that it swallows its own teeth. Measuring at 4-5 feet the pup can take care of itself since birth.
  • Sensory facts – The great white can sense one drop of blood in 100 litres of water. Armed with this sense and great olfactory senses it is one of the dreadful predators of the oceans.
  • Endangered – The killing of the great whites have made it very close to extinction. It is a species being conserved now as few are left.
  • Speed – The great white are very good and quick swimmers. Speeds of 24 km/hr can test most of their preys.
  • Weapons – The greatest weapon are its jaws. Armed with over 500 teeth it can actually slice through its prey.