Over the past weeks, Save Our Sharks project officer Linda has been posting a series of reasons why people should start loving sharks. After reason number one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, and eight, the ninth reason is short but clear:
“Sharks have some mad skills!”
Glowing in the dark, walking on land with their pectoral fins, holding their breath for hours, reproducing without mating, swimming faster than 50 mph, aging over 400 years, swimming in both salt and freshwater, knocking out prey with their tail, jumping in the air as high as three meters, learning complex behaviors, detecting electric pulses, feeling minor movement in the water, sensing the earth’s magnetic fields, seeing clear in murky water, turning their stomachs inside out to remove indigestible food, healing wounds at an incredible speed, finding the exact location of their birth from thousands of miles away, instantly replacing lost teeth, living thousands of meters below the ocean surface; these are just the first examples that pop into my head when thinking about the amazing skills that sharks can possess. Of course, there is no one shark species with all of these traits. All more than 500 species are very much adapted to their surroundings and have evolved some extraordinary ways to become the long-lived, highly skilled hunters that they are.
By Linda Planthof