No thanks to movies depicting sharks as bloodthirsty creatures, many people believe that these marine animals kill and eat anything. Who wouldn’t be freaked out by the thought of a shark tearing a grown man to bits? Truth is, there is no scientific proof that sharks actively seek out human beings as prey. They only attack when they believe they are threatened.
Feel bad about misunderstanding these seemingly threatening animals? Here are some fun facts about the sharks residing in the S.E.A. Aquarium’s Shark Seas habitat.
“It pays to have a bigger head”
The scalloped hammerhead shark can sense electrical fields to increase their searching abilities when hunting prey. Here’s something hammerheads would have up there on their resumes: They can locate prey buried within the ocean floor, even by a heartbeat. As common sense would have it, the wider surface of the shark’s head contributes to this keener sensitivity.
“Look at me change colours, Ma”
The tawny nurse shark has the ability to change colours between grey and sandy brown, depending on the colour of its surroundings. These sharks may look odd with their broad, flattened head, squarish snouts and tiny eyes, but they are bound to catch your attention the moment you step into the Shark Seas habitat. Female species are known to give birth up to eight live young sharks that have hatched within the uterus.
“Do not piss me off”
You may not want to mess around with silvertip sharks, because they are known to exhibit territorial behaviour. These very mobile sharks are usually encountered alone or in pairs. Individual silvertip sharks can behave very aggressively towards one another – this can be seen from their heavily scarred bodies. These sharks also swim around other groups of feeding sharks, and have occasionally be seen dashing in to steal food.
“You’re one sneaky fellow”
The blacktip reef shark sneaks up on prey with ease, thanks to its sleek body and speedy tail. They cruise coastlines in large schools, and can jump out of water to feed on schools of fish, rays and sometimes smaller sharks. These sharks spend their entire lives swimming and not resting on the bottom of the ocean because they must always be in motion to take in dissolved oxygen.