Ocean Currents

What’s Your Shark IQ?

© Naomi Silver

How much do you know about sharks? Test your knowledge with our short quiz:

Which shark is the fastest?
When it comes to speed, shortfin mako sharks are like the Roadrunner, clocked at more than 30 miles an hour in pursuit of prey but suspected of zooming along even faster.

True or false? Sharks have a sixth sense.
True. A network of small, jelly-filled pores along their snouts called the ampullae of Lorenzini pick up on the electrical fields created by the contracting muscles of a swimming fish or a beating heart. This helps sharks locate prey buried in sand.

What is finning?
Finning has severe impacts on shark populations. It’s the practice of slicing off a shark’s fins at sea and tossing the body, sometimes still alive, back into the ocean. A culinary delicacy, especially in shark fin soup, the fins fetch high prices. International awareness of the plight of sharks is growing, but they need our ongoing help.

True or false? Each year, more people die from shark attacks than kill sharks.
False.  Sharks prey on each other, and killer whales hunt them, too, but humans pose the greater threat by far.  In 2011, reported shark attacks took 12 lives, the largest number in recent history. In contrast, fishermen catch tens of millions of sharks, either intentionally or as “bycatch” with hooks or nets targeting other species.

How do sharks have so many teeth?
Most sharks have lots of teeth arranged in layers. If any break or fall off, sharp new teeth immediately take their place. Beachcombers can find teeth washed up on beaches; sharks shed thousands during their lives.

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