Sharks have adapted to their habitat by having streamlined, hydrodynamic bodies. Their skeletons aren't made of bone like other fish but cartilage. This makes their skeletons lighter and more flexible.Continue Reading
Like most other fish, sharks are cold-blooded. This gives them a low metabolism and allows them to fast for weeks. However, when it's time to eat, sharks benefit from having short but wide esophagi and jaws that aren't firmly attached to their skulls. This allows sharks to gulp down their prey whole or in large chunks. Sharks' teeth are also replaced constantly.
Sharks' livers, fins and constant movement keep them from sinking. The liver is enormous and filled with a substance called squalene, which helps to keep the shark buoyant.
Sharks also have an astonishing sense of smell and can smell blood in the water as far as one-quarter of a mile away. They also have a tapetum lucidum, a membrane at the back of the eye that lets them see in low light. They can change the size of their pupils to adjust to light conditions, which is an adaptation not found in other fish.
Sharks can also sense electrical fields through organs in their heads called ampullae of Lorenzini.Learn more about Sharks
Different sharks communicate within their own species in different ways; for example, the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History reports that great white sharks can communicate with each other by gaping their jaws while the University of Michigan says that gray reef sharks communicate using their senses of sight and touch. In general, sharks are not believed to have linguistic communication abilities, relying instead on other senses to communicate.Full Answer >
Tiger sharks probably have a wider diversity of prey than any other shark species. Their primary prey species include fish, sea turtles, mollusks, sea birds and other sharks, but virtually anything swimming in the ocean is fair game. Adult tiger sharks have few predators other than humans, but young tiger sharks must avoid large predatory fish and sharks.Full Answer >
If sharks became extinct, there would be ecological repercussions, such as small animal extinction, algae overgrowth and coral reef death. Sharks are a crucial part of the marine ecosystem and are necessary for the world's oceans to operate.Full Answer >
Great white sharks move by swimming. These powerful predators attain top speeds of over 15 MPH, but are only able to sustain such speeds for brief bursts. Great whites swim constantly because they rely on a breathing technique called ram ventilation. They swim with their mouths slightly open to force water through their jaws and over their gills.Full Answer >