The Discovery Channel are bringing back their annual Shark week this week. The channel are airing 25 shows throughout the week all about Sharks! Check out the link below to see what they have in store for you.
To join in we thought we’d share some sharkey stuff with yourselves throughout the week.
Did you know that Sharks, Rays & Skates are all closely related? They are part of a family called Elasmobranchs. These animals don’t have any bones, they are cartilaginous fish and have between 5 & 7 gill openings on each side of their bodies. They are thought to date back approximately 150 million years!!!
There are around 630 different species of Rays & Skates and around 1,000 different species of Sharks! Did you know we get them here in Dorset? The most commonly spotted are:
- Nurse hound
- Spiny Dogfish
- Porbeagle Shark
- Thresher Shark
- Tope Shark
- Blue Shark
- Basking Shark
- Small-spotted Catshark
- Undulate Ray
- Blonde Ray
- Spotted Ray
- Thornback Ray (Called a Ray, but is actually a Skate)
- Common Skate
The Sharks Trust is a great charity that work to raise awareness to safeguard the future of Sharks through positive changes. They achieve this through science, education, influence and action.
Check out their website, they have some great information on there all about Sharks, Skates and Rays. You can also get involved by reporting sightings and your findings of Shark eggs along the shores.
The largest Shark is the Whale Shark, they can grow as large as 18 metres.
The smallest Shark is the Dwarf Lanternshark, these little fellas only grow up to around 20cm in size.
The largest Ray is the Giant Manta Ray, they can grow as big as 8.9 metres.
The smallest Ray is the Short-nosed Electric Ray which only grows to around 10cm.
The largest Skate is, the creatively names, Big Skate. The biggest recorded was 243cm
The smallest Skate is the Starry Skate, which grows to approx. 76cm.
Shark Diving: The Top 10 Best Dive Sites In The World (courtesy of PADI Travel).
- Bajo Alcyone – Cocos Islands, Costa Rica.
- Monad Shaol – Malapascua, Philippines.
- Gordon Rocks – Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Scalloped, Great and Smooth Hammerheads
- Tiger Beach, Bahamas
- Pipin – Jardines de la Reina, Cuba
Caribbean Reef Sharks & Silky Sharks
- Isla Guadalupe, Mexico
Great White Sharks
- Beqa Lagoon, Fiji
- Gladden Spit, Placencia, Belize
- The Canyons – Rangiroa, French Polynesia.
Great Hammerheads and Gray Reef Sharks
- Pyramid Rock – False Bay, South Africa
Sharks Are Friends
A fear of Sharks is quite a common thing amongst Humans and it need not be! They're not exactly the cuddliest of creatures and some of them can look fairly terrifying with their rows of sharp teeth. However, this fear is largely unfounded.
Shark incidents are rare and of those that do happen, only a handful turn out to be fatal. They are not the mindless, killing machines that the movies make them out to be and media coverage can be a bit exagerrated and one sided.
The majority of Sharks are harmless - did you know the Worlds largest Shark (The Whale Shark) is actually a Plankton eater?? They don't even have teeth! In fact, the top 3 biggest Sharks are Plankton eaters!
Scientists actually believe that attacks are just a simple case of mistaken identity. Sharks, such as Great Whites, Tigers & Bull Sharks hunt from below, so they can mistake a humans silouette for something like a Seal or Sea Lion and that's why Humans are just bitten, not eaten & swallowed!!
The International Shark Attack Files states that you're actually more likely to be killed by drowning in the sea than you being attacked by a Shark and you're more likely to be hit on the head with a Coconut at some point in your life.
Remember, Sharks have more reason to fear us than you do to fear them....
Dun-uh. Dun-uh. Dun-uh
And if you fancy watching some "Jawsome" movies this week here are IMDb’s top 10 Shark films:
- Deep Blue Sea
- The Shallows
- 47 Metres Down
- The Reef
- Open Water
- Dark Tide
- Shark Night
(I don't take any responsibility for listing the above as top 10.....!!)
Keep an eye out on the Facebook page this week for some Shark facts throughout the week. Don't forget to share with us any photos or memories you have of any Sharkness....