I could watch Shark Week every single day and never be bored.  Sharks are the most fascinating animals in the world! When we broadcast live from the New Jersey Natural Gas Boardwalk Studio in Asbury Park every Friday I get to learn so much from talking with Claire Antonucci, formerly of the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium. Recently Claire dropped some shark knowledge on me that made my head want to explode!  I give you the top 5 most mind blowing shark facts you've ever heard:
5.  Whale Sharks are the biggest fish in the entire ocean and can grow to be upwards of 40 feet long and weigh as much as 40 tons (that's 80 THOUSAND pounds)!  They are covered in spots in patterns unique to each animal just like fingerprints are for us. No two are alike!
Photo by Sebastian Pena Lambarri on Unsplash
Photo by Sebastian LPena Lambarri Unsplash
4.  Not all sharks are big!  This shark is not a baby but it is as small as your hand!  The Dwarf Lantern Shark is actually smaller than a human hand and is able to glow in the dark.  It lives in very deep waters and lights up like a flashlight to find food and trick predators.
Photo credit: wikipedia.org
Photo credit: Chip Clark/Smithsonian Institution (Public Domain)
3.  The Greenland or Grey Shark has the longest known lifespan of any creature with a backbone. It lives up to 500 years!  What the what?!?  Yeah, 500 years!  Also, it’s meat is toxic and if eaten untreated it will literally make you super drunk. You would think that would have made them a more popular snack right? LOL.
NOAA Ocean Explorer: NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer: Northeast U.S.
Photo credit: NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program (Public Domain)


2.  This one shocked me because I'm such a mom. Apparently sharks give a live birth (after being pregnant for give or take 12 months depending on the kind of shark) and once they are born they peace out and leave the mom!  They literally need NO parental guidance.  Geez, and I get upset if my kids don't call me enough.
Photo credit: YouTube
Photo credit: YouTube

Watch some live shark births here:

1.  Megaladon went extinct 3.5 million years ago. Changes in ocean currents, water temperatures, and nutrients that characterize our modern ocean simply cannot support an apex predator like Megaladon.  Plus if Megaladon did exist, we would see it or at least see evidence of its “kills.”  After all, this prehistoric shark was an “eating machine” and could never find enough food hiding in the depths.  I don't want Megs to still be around...but I do...but I so don't.  Put this guy next to the dwarf lantern shark and you have to wonder how there can be such a range in the same animal!  Just look at the size of one tooth!  Keep scrolling to see more crazy animal facts...
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

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