9 Fascinating (and Reassuring) Facts About Sharks

There are over 500 different species of sharks.

That's right, there's a lot more variety out there than just the Great White! Sharks come in all shapes and sizes, from the tiny dwarf lantern shark, which is only about 6 inches long.

Sharks have been around for a very long time.

The oldest shark fossils date back to around 450 million years ago, which means they were swimming the oceans even before the dinosaurs roamed the Earth!

Sharks don't have bones.

Their skeletons are made of cartilage, which is a lighter and more flexible material than bone. This helps them to be agile predators.

Most sharks are cold-blooded.

This means that their body temperature changes with the temperature of the water around them.

Sharks can smell a single drop of blood from miles away.

They have an incredible sense of smell, which helps them to find food.

Sharks can see in very low light conditions.

Their eyes have a special layer of tissue that reflects light back onto the retina, which helps them to see in the dark depths of the ocean.

Sharks are not always solitary creatures.

Some species of sharks, such as hammerhead sharks, are known to form large schools.

Sharks play an important role in the marine ecosystem.

They are apex predators, which means that they help to keep populations of other fish in check. This helps to maintain the health of the ocean.

The chances of being attacked by a shark are extremely low.

In fact, you are more likely to be struck by lightning than to be killed by a shark.