Awesome Animal: The Shark

I remember the first time that I saw a shark while diving. All of sudden everything went very quiet and all of the other fish disappeared. Lurking in the distance I saw a shark come closer and got scared. This one was probably only like 1m a wide, but wow did it have a presence. And just as quickly as it had appeared, it disappeared and the buzz of ocean life started up again. 
Fact 1: Sharks are not as deadly as you think. I blame Jaws.

Looks like the Great Whites are the ones to look out for. See more of this infographic via Trend Hunter.  
Fact 2: Myth Busted, sharks do get cancer

Fact 3: Sharks can do something super cool called tonic immobility

Sharks typically enter a natural state of paralysis when inverted. This state is called “tonic”, and the shark can remain in this state for up to 15 minutes. Scientists have not yet discovered why sharks do this, but they think it has something to do with being turned over that causes them to become unbalanced. 

Fact 4: Sharks are killed for their fins

I first became aware of the awful practice of finning while watching a documentary on sharks. I never even knew people did this. I still have images of people grabbing a shark, slicing off their dorsal fin and then throwing a torso back into the water, leaving the shark to drown. Don’t intentionally eat shark fin soup! While teaching in Taiwan I was always respectful of the culture, but this was one thing that I would not tolerate. I went crazy on the kids explaining why they should not eat shark fin soup. It is tasteless! I know this because while at a wedding, I accidentally ate it. I had no idea it was shark fin soup until someone brought it up. 
Fact 5: Hammerhead sharks are awesome

These are my favorite sharks! I just love their hammer shaped heads or a shape called a “cephalofoil”. 

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