The sea around your country is home to up to 130 different types of sharks and their cousins the skates, rays and chimaeras. Here at Blue Reef we have many species of shark , one of our largest is the Black Tip Reef Shark. Closely related to the Tiger and Bull sharks, they live and hunt on coral reefs. They give birth to live young which can hunt as soon as they are born.
The first sharks patrolled our seas 400 million years ago – 100 million years before the dinosaurs first appeared.
Sharks’ skeletons are not made from bone, but are made from cartilage – the same stuff that our ears and noses are built of. Rays are members of the same family as sharks, and are actually just a flattened version of them, with certain crucial differences.
Sharks have more to fear from humans than we do from them, more people die each year from falling coconuts than from shark attacks, whereas around 70 million sharks are killed worldwide annually by humans, some are caught accidentally, but some are killed for food.
We have lots of other different and wonderful species of shark and rays at Blue Reef Portsmouth.
Here are some quick facts:
- In 2007 only one person was killed by a shark worldwide. Tens of millions of sharks, skates and rays are killed by people each year!
- Sharks first appeared in our seas 400 million years ago – that’s a 100 million years before the dinosaurs!
- The largest shark in the world is the Whale shark which can grow up to 18metres
- Shark’s egg cases are called “Mermaids Purses” this is because sailors and pirates thought the yolk was a gold coin!
- Baby sharks are called pups!
- You are more likely to be killed by a vending machine then a shark!
- Habitat: Coral Reefs
- Where in the world: South African costal
- Food: Reef fish, cephalopods
- Maximum Size: 2 metres
- Conservation Status: Lower risk / near threatened