Shark Tank – Did you know?

Folkmanis SharkSharks are fish and have been around for the past 450 million years. Yes, they predate the dinosaurs. There are more than 360 described species, many of which are endangered due to sport fishing. You’ll never need to reset a broken bone for your sharky friend. Sharks don’t have bones, instead they have a cartilage frame which is light and very flexible. Sporting 5-15 rows of teeth they sound like a dentist’s dream, but their ability to grow new teeth (20,000 in a lifetime) won’t provide shark dentists with much to sink their teeth into. Folkmanis Leopard SharkWhen frightened, sharks swim in a figure-eight. If the shark next to you hunches, lower his pectoral fins (belly fins) and starts swimming in zigzags, you might want to excuse yourself and head for the beach towel – he is going to attack. When the shark on your beach forgets his manners, give him a sharp blow to his snout, gills or eyes. They don’t like to work too hard, so if you fight back they usually leave. Never pull your shark backwards, they will drown. Their gills only work one way. Whale sharks are the largest known fish usually growing to some forty feet, but they don’t reach puberty until age thirty. Baby sharks are called pups and whale sharks can have 300 pups at a time. No worries – the babies are on their own as soon as they hit the water. Folkmanis Finger Puppet SharkSharks have very keen senses of smell, hearing and vision. But they are also able to detect the electronic fields of other living things from miles away using a electrosense system. Pretty snazzy tool when you are hunting for your next meal. Some have light-emitting organs called photospheres which are used to attract food or ask another shark if they would like to go on a date. Not your type? Pull out a magnet. Very strong magnets (and other rare earth elements) repel sharks. It is believed the shark receives a small shock if they get too close. While they don’t make the nicest pet for your backyard pool, sharks are amazing animals. Having evolved into the world’s greatest predator, sharks keep our oceans in balance.



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