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14 Nov 2018 09:24:06
Do you have a fascination with sharks? Checkout these interesting facts you may not have known about the incredible species of the deep.
Sharks skeletons are made from cartilage (similar to what our noses and ears are made from) instead of bone. This makes their skeletons lighter and helps them to be naturally buoyant and able to float and swim without sinking or rising.
Sharks are losing their teeth all the time, in fact, they can go through thousands of them in their lifetime! Due to their skeletons being made from quickly decomposing cartilage, their teeth are often the only remains left behind after death. For this reason, most known shark fossils are only of shark teeth.
Probably the most unusual looking shark of all the species is the wobbegong shark, who can be recognised by the skin flaps around their snout that make them look like they a beard, and the distinctive, protective colouration of their skin which has dark saddles and white rings on a yellowish to greenish-brown background, that allows them to blend into the sand on the ocean floor.
Sadly, in 1984, Grey Nurse sharks were deemed on the brink of extinction in NSW and were the first shark in the world to be declared as critically endangered and given protected status. This was largely due to them being hunted in the early 1900’s, when their liver oil was used to fuel street lamps in Sydney, and in the 60’s and 70’s when divers hunted them for sports. While positive steps have been taken towards their conservation, only time will tell if the grey nurse sharks will continue their slow rise back from being an endangered species.
SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast is the only place in Queensland where you can see Grey Nurse Sharks. Pop in for a visit and meet our resident Sunshine Coast sharks, Pallas, Patches and Huey. Nothing phases Huey, you'll see him cruising around the oceanarium without a care in the world. Pallas can be easily recognised by her droopy dorsal fin and Patches by his lazy jaw. So, you will see Patches swimming round with his mouth open, baring his teeth, quite often.
With a visit to our underwater world, you can experience sharks swimming all around you in our 80m ocean tunnel. It is the best way to get up close to not only Grey Nurse Sharks but also Sandbar Whalers (the biggest coastal shark in the world) and Wobbegong Sharks.