The 15 Most Surprising Shark Facts

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by: Anastacia Darby

#11 Sharks had some pretty epic ancestors. The Bandringa had a head covered in spikes, a long snout and a protruding jaw. And the Helicoprion (below) sliced prey like a buzzsaw with its 360-degree spiral of teeth (and you thought Jaws was scary). Shark body design stabilized 140 million years ago - about 300 million years after sharks first evolved.

Heliocoprin Shark
Dmitry Bogdanov

#12 The blue shark can give birth to up to 135 pups in one litter. That's a lot of mouths to feed!

Blue Shark

#13 Thresher shark tails can grow to half of their body length. Threshers use their tails as weapons to stun their prey. Thus making them the shark equivalent of a double-edged sword.

Thresher Shark

#14 Did you hear that? The silky shark probably did. These sharks have extremely acute hearing. In fact, researchers found that the shark responded to low-frequency sounds from 1/4 mile away.

Silky Shark

#15 The deep sea might be a dark place, but these sharks come prepared with a built in flashlight. Some sharks, such as the lanternshark, are able to make their own light through a process called bioluminescence.
(Below is an example of a bioluminescent jellyfish.)

Bioluminescent Jellyfish
  • Discovery Channel Sharkopedia: The Complete Guide To All Things Sharks. Des Moines: Time Home Entertainment, 2013. Print.
  • Ghose, Tia. "Why Shark Embryos Eat Each Other Up in Utero : DNews." DNews. LiveScience, 1 May 2013. Web. 5 June 2015.
  • Pappas, Stephanie. "Female Whale Sharks Are Sperm Banks, Study Suggests." LiveScience. TechMedia Network, 26 Aug. 2010. Web. 5 June 2015.
  • Wroe S, Huber D, Lowry M, McHenry C, Moreno K, et al. Three-dimensional computer analysis of white shark jaw mechanics: how hard can a great white bite? J Zool. 2008;276:336-342.

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