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400-year-old shark

The oldest Greenland shark was found to had lived for nearly 400 years. The sampling was done using the pulse of carbon-14. The Greenland shark grows slowly. 1)

The first comparative study of sharks

In 1553, French naturalist Pierre Belon published the first comparative study of sharks. In addition to a drawing of a hammerhead shark, it included an illustration of a shark, which he named Canis Carcharias. At the time, it was common practice to choose descriptive names based on physical characteristics rather than classification. 2)

Sea dogs

Sharks were commonly referred to as “sea dogs” - hence the Latin canis, while the second part of the name comes from the Greek “Carcharias” (to sharpen). The term “sea belt” (sea dog) is still used in Croatian today. The word “sharke” was popularized by sailor Sir John Hawkins, who brought and exhibited the first specimen in London, in 1569. 3)


The English word shark comes probably from the German word “schurke” which means “rogue”. 4)


The rarest in the world is, discovered in 1976, a shark called megamouth. It is huge. The megamouths are thought to grow to 17 feet long and stay most of the time in the depths of the ocean, swimming out only at night. 5)

Shortfin mako

The fastest swimming shark is a shortfin mako, a cheetah in the underwater world. It reaches speeds of 45 miles per hour. Its streamlined body helps minimize water resistance. Another useful biological adaptation of the mako is its ability to maintain a higher body temperature than the surrounding water, so it can channel energy more efficiently into its muscles to achieve higher speeds. Besides, it can leap above the water's surface. 6)

sharks.txt · Last modified: 2021/08/29 22:55 by interestingadmin