7 fascinating facts about sharks for Shark Week and beyond

7 fascinating facts about sharks for Shark Week and beyond
Photo ©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

Sharks are incredible creatures that strike fear in the heart of many, but how much do you really know about them? Sharks are often misunderstood. In preparation for Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, learn some fascinating facts about sharks here:

* Sharks are smaller than you probably think they are. Half of sharks are less than 3 feet long, and 80% of sharks are 6 feet long or less.

* Whale sharks are the world's biggest fish, with big families, too. One whale shark can give birth to 300 live shark pups in one litter.

* There a lot of different kinds of sharks, with more than 300 shark species swimming in the world's waters.

* Sharks have huge appetites. In one year, a great white sharks eat 11 tons of food each year, while humans consume approximately half a ton of food in a year.

* A special organ next to a muscle in a shark's eye socket, allows sharks to heat their eyes so that they can hunt in frigid waters.

* Sharks have multiple rows of teeth, which fall out regularly. Sharks continually grow new teeth to replace the ones they've lost.

* Selachophobia is the fear of sharks. It is also called galeophobia.  That fear is not well-founded, however. The odds of being killed by lightning or a tornado are higher than the odds of being killed by a shark.

To learn more about sharks, go check them out first hand at your local aquarium. You can find information on visiting the Shedd Aquarium, home to lots of sharks and daily shark talks, in person here or take advantage of some of their online resources about sharks here.

You can also watch Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, which starts August 10. You can find the schedule here.

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Filed under: Trivia

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