Endangered shark species

There are many impressive species of shark. The movies Jaws played a great part in making the Great White shark popular. But nevertheless, there are more than 400 other shark species that have been discovered by humans to date.

Sadly, not being as popular as the Great white does not offer any of the lesser known species any protection. Many of them are now in danger of extinction. Research has shown that about 100 million sharks are killed every year by individuals for recreational and commercial fishing.

Angel Shark (Squatina squatina) – seriously endangered

The angel shark was at one point quite abundant all around the coasts of Western Europe according to information from the 19th and early 20th century.

With its population largely depleted across most of its range, the angel shark is now perceived to be extinct in the North sea, most of the Northern Mediterranean and very rare in other places

Daggernose shark (Isogomphodon oxyrhynchus) – seriously endangered

The Daggernose shark is not freshwater tolerant. It lives in the low tropical waters off North-Eastern South America from Trinidad to Northern Brazil. It is found mainly in muddy habitats like estuaries, mangroves, and river mouths. This species of sharks have been classified as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This is due to its low level of distribution. And also its low rate of reproduction, it is highly vulnerable to overfishing.

Zebra shark (Stegostoma fasciatum or varium) – vulnerable

The only member of the family Stegostomatidae, the Zebra shark is a type of carpet shark. It is found usually around coral reefs and sandy flats in the tropical Indo-Pacific Sea. It has been accessed by the World Conservative Union as vulnerable worldwide. This is because it is subject to commercial fishing for its meat, liver oil and fins. There are reports which indicate a rapid decline in its worldwide population.

Great White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias) – vulnerable

It is known as the great white, white shark, white pointer or white death. Growing to up to 6m (20 ft.) in length and 2,268 kg (5,000 Ib) in weight, the great white can be found in coastal oceans all around the world. Although no accurate population numbers are available, the great white has also suffered a sharp decline in population and are now considered vulnerable species too.

Dumb Gulper Shark (Centrophorus harrissoni) – seriously endangered

Also known as dumb shark, Harrison’s dogfish or Harrison’s deep-sea dogfish. The dumb shark is a rare species in danger of extinction. It is usually found only along the east coast of Australia and some secluded areas North and West of New Zealand.

Interesting facts about sharks

Sharks have been in existence on earth for millions of years, even before dinosaurs. Possibly the most significant extinct ancestor of modern-day shark was the megalodon. It was about 20 meters long and weighed up to 48 tons.

Out of the over 500 species of sharks, only 3 are responsible for a majority of the reported human attacks. These three are the bull shark, great white shark, and the tiger shark. But such attacks are also quite occasional. In fact, for each human a shark kills, there are two million sharks killed by humans worldwide. This has led to a massive reduction in the world’s population of sharks putting them on the brink of extinction. More so, there is 75% probability of humans to be killed more by lightening than sharks.

Sharks never stop growing teeth. They get up to 30,000 teeth during their lifetime. Shark teeth grow from the back and move forward when required, thus for every tooth that is broken in front, there is a row behind to replace it at all times.

There are a few species of sharks that possess the ability to move into freshwater and not stay restricted to saltwater systems only. In places like South Africa, the Bahamas, and Australia, bull sharks move up and down rivers. This movement consumes a lot of their energy but also gives them a new batch of prey too. Meanwhile, around the coral reefs in Australia and New Guinea lives the epaulette shark. This shark has the capacity to climb out of water in low tide and ‘walk’ between pools to hunt for prey that has been stranded.

Talking about size, this great predator can grow up to an astounding 6.1 in length and weigh more than 2000 kg. The females typically grow larger than the males.

Sharks have great eyesight. They see in color and have the ability to see clearly whether it’s day or night. Sharks, although, do not have eyelids so they have to roll their eyes to the back of their heads to protect them.

While humans have only five senses, the great white shark possesses six. This sixth sense is used to detect a natural stimulus and notify the sharks of the objects around them. Sharks are able to find prey easily because this special sense allows them to detect signals of the electric field transmitted by all animals.

In addition, the great white sharks have the most potent sense of smell of all sharks and can perceive the littlest drop of blood in a million parts water. They are also quite specific about what they will or will not eat than other sharks. This is due to the taste buds located in their throat and mouth.

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