From the sharks mouth..

“A wise man (Baba Dioum) once said “Engrave this quote, For in the end, we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught“. Enjoy our site, learn about sharks, understand sharks, love sharks and discover that the world is far better off when it is full of sharks.

Quick shark facts

  • Sharks have been around for 400 million years
    • Pre-dating dinosaurs and even trees!
  • They have had little need to evolve
    • A testament to just how effective their anatomical make-up is.
  • There are over 400 types of shark
    • 500 known species if you include those that are extinct.
  • Sharks vary widely in size
    • From the 8 inch pygmy lantern shark, right up to the 60ft whale shark.
  • Despite their negative portrayal in media and film, shark attacks are extremely rare
    • You’re more likely to be crushed by a falling vending machine, or be struck by lightning.
  • Shark anatomy is fairly consistent across the species
    • But each have their own unique features.
  • Sharks have skeletons made up of cartilage rather than bone
    • Cartilage is more durable and lighter than bone, helping the shark save energy.
  • Unlike most fish, sharks don’t have a gas-filled swim bladder
    • Instead, they have an oil filled liver that offers buoyancy, using this in conjunction with forward movement to control vertical position.
  • The jaws of sharks are not attached to their skull
    • They move separately , allowing them to thrust forward and latch onto prey.
  • The surface of a shark’s jaws have extra support called ‘tesserae’
    • These tiny hexagonal plates are made up of calcium salt deposits, giving cartilage more strength.
  • Shark’s may have up to 3,000 teeth at one time
    • They are fully embedded into the gums, with shape and size varying depending on their purpose.
  • Sharks continuously grow multiple rows of teeth
    • When a shark breaks or loses a tooth, a new one moves forward to replace it, much like a conveyor belt.
  • It’s estimated that some sharks may lose 30,000 or more teeth in their lifetime!
    • Tooth replacement rates vary from several days to several months.
  • Most sharks have 8 rigid fins
    • A pair of pectoral fins, a pair of pelvic fins, one or two dorsal fins, an anal fin and a caudal fin (tail).
  • All sharks are carnivorous
    •  Ranging from small bivalves and crustaceans, to seals and even other sharks.
  • Sharks can be found in all seas
    • They generally avoid fresh water with the exception of some species, and are commonly found to a depth of 2,000 meters.
  • Not all sharks are solitary
    • Many sharks a very social, hunting in packs or congregating in large numbers during breeding.
  • Sharks need to keep moving in order to breathe
    • Some species have evolved to remain stationary, resting on the sea bed and pumping water over their gills.
  • Sharks never enter a true state of sleep
    • Some species are able to ‘sleep swim’, as their swimming is coordinated by their spinal cord as opposed to their brain.
  • Sharks can detect blood at one part per million
    • They can even determine the direction of a particular scent based on the time it takes to reach one nostril compared to the other.
  • Sharks have keen eyesight
    • As well as their acute smell, sharks have great eyesight even in dimly lit environments. This is due to a mirror like layer in the back of the eye called the tapetum lucidum (the same found in cats).
  • Sharks have ears
    • Located within a small opening on each side of their head. Sound travels faster in water, and sharks rely on sound heavily.
  • Sharks can detect electricity
    • Sharks have electroreceptor organs called ‘ampullae of Lorenzini’, and they use this to detect electromagnetic fields which all living creatures emit.
  • Most sharks live 20-30 years
    • Maturing slowly and reaching a reproductive age anywhere from 12 to 15 years
  • Sharks are a k-selected species
    • This means they produce a small number of larger, more developed young, as opposed to a mass number of under developed young.

Experience the world of sharks for yourself!

our shark expeditions

Shark cage diving KZN
Swim with sharks at aliwal shoal1
bw101