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Amazing shark facts!

Sharks may not be cute and cuddly, but they are awesome, and they need our attention more than ever.
To celebrate Shark Awareness Day, we are paying tribute to these magnificent animals with our favourite shark facts for you to share...

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How long have sharks roamed our oceans?
Sharks have been around for around 400 million years, since the Devonian age, meaning they pre-date dinosaurs. In all that time, they have evolved very little, a tribute to their near perfect design.

How many species of shark are there in the world?
There are thought to be over 400 species of shark in our oceans today, some say at least 500. They range from reef sharks to species that lurk in the depths, such as the Greenland shark. Some of the most iconic and sought after sharks are great whites, hammerhead sharks, tiger sharks and whale sharks.

What is the largest shark in our oceans?
{img_alt} The whale shark is not only the largest shark, but also the world’s biggest fish, thought to be able to grow up to 18 metres in length. They are one of only three known species of filter feeding sharks, the others are the basking shark and the megamouth shark.

They can be seen in a number of places in the world including the Maldives, the Philippines and Mozambique. The largest individuals, recently revealed to be pregnant females, gather in the waters of the Galapagos Islands each year.

What is the smallest shark we know of?
The dwarf laternshark is the smallest shark found to date, measuring no more than 21 centimetres! Other contenders for this prestigious crown are the spined pygmy shark and the pygmy ribbontail catshark.

Which shark is able to walk as well as swim?
The epaulette shark, a species of carpet shark seen in the waters of eastern Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Australia. They a primarily nocturnal and have evolved to be able to walk across the reef top from one tidal pool to another in search of food.

When was the megamouth shark discovered?
The megamouth shark was only discovered in 1976. Even today, so few have been discovered, we know almost nothing about them, despite their huge size.

How many teeth to sharks have?
That depends on the species of course, but they may have up to 3,000 teeth at any one time. Extraordinarily, they may lose 30,000 teeth in their lifetime! These grow in multiple rows, so when one tooth is lost, another moves forward to replace it.

{img_alt} How much food are great white sharks thought to consume each year?
Great white sharks eat around 11 tons of food each year. We humans eat about half a ton.

Where are the best places in the world to see great white sharks?
Encounters with the world’s most impressive predator are hugely sought after by divers and non-divers alike. The best places to be able to see them (from the safety of a cage) are Isla Guadalupe, off the Pacific coast of Mexico; Gaansbai in South Africa; and the Neptune Islands in southern Australia.

There are so many more facts we could share about these incredible creatures, the guardians of our oceans. If you love sharks too, share this post with the hastag #sharkawarenessday, or just share your own incredible shark facts!

If you’d like to get up close and personal with sharks large or small, check out our range of shark diving adventures or call our friendly Dive team on 01962 302087.