Sharks have been a part of the earth’s oceans for more than 430 million years. This scientific evidence places them on earth before dinosaurs, and in that time they have changed very little.
There are at least 370 different shark species and they all live in different areas of the world. While most are salt water inhabitants, the Bull Shark is able to live in both fresh or salt water. Most sharks are nocturnal hunters and although they do not sleep, they have quite clearly defined active and restful periods.
Sharks come in all shapes and sizes, but share the common characteristic of a streamlined body which makes for quick, efficient swimming and hunting.
Sharks are in need of Friends
Unfortunately due to the growing business of the shark fin trade, more than 150 million sharks are killed each passing year. Sharks only reach maturity around the 20 year mark, and with their long gestation periods and the increased demand for shark products, they’re being killed off faster than they can reproduce. This equation is a recipe for disaster. Although sharks are among the oldest vertebrates and were once a very successful clade, in today’s world they are seriously threatened.
A shark’s role within the ocean’s ecosystem is irreplaceable by any other marine creature as they help to keep the balance of this finely-tuned environment in order. With humans interfering, the ecosystems have been knocked off-balance and it will take great conservation and education efforts to rectify the issue.