How Much Do YOU Know About Sharks (and their teeth)?
Did you know that 50 species of sharks live off the coast of North Carolina?
No need to worry, because encounters between sharks and humans are very rare. That being said, it's a good idea to learn as much as you can about sharks, their habits, and what to do if you encounter one. Today's blog will explore some fascinating facts about these big fish, and how to stay safe when you wade the waters of North Carolina.
🦈 Sharks vision is pretty good, especially in low light (and clear water). Sharks also use their sense of smell and vibration to detect prey.
🦈 Vampire level - Activated!! Sharks can detect a little drop of blood, even if it's in hidden in a MILLION drops of water! Have a cut? Stay out of the water.
🦈 Sharks have been around forever. Well, for at least 450 million years (that we know of). Humans have only been around for maybe 6 million years, just to put that into perspective.
🦈 There are up to 500 species of sharks known to man. About 50 of them live around NC, although some are just passing through on their way north (towards Maine) or south (towards Florida), depending on the season.
🦈 Sharks can have up to 35,000 TEETH during a lifetime! No wonder there are so many washed up among the seashells on Sunset Beach! Sharks are constantly losing teeth and growing new ones, row after row, year after year.
🦈 Only about 50 shark teeth are actually active (in use) at any given time.
🦈 Most sharks have several different types of teeth. Just like us humans, they have specialized teeth - some for biting, some for gripping, and some for chewing and crushing yummy bivalves and crustaceans. Different sharks have different types of teeth.
🦈 Sharks don't have bones! Instead, they are made up of cartilage, the same stuff that makes up your nose and ears.
🦈 Sharks have babies in two different ways, depending on the species. Some are oviparous (egg-laying) and others are viviparous (live-bearing).
Here are some tips for staying safe in the water around Sunset Beach, NC:
☀️ Swim in a group, or at least, with a buddy.
☀️ Avoid swimming at dawn or dusk (prime feeding time for sharks).
☀️ Avoid swimming too deep. Stay close to shore where there are more people and fewer sharks.
☀️ Be careful when playing near sandbars or steep dropoffs. This is where fish like to swim... sharks, too.
☀️ Don't wear shiny jewelry in the water - sharks are attracted to the scale-like shine.
According to CoastalReview.org, "The Atlantic sharpnose shark is the single, most common shark off of North Carolina every summer." These guys are little, and more likely to be prey for larger sharks. "Sandbar sharks can be found off North Carolina during summer months. This brownish-gray shark has a recognizably large and triangular dorsal fin and somewhat long pectoral fins. It averages 6 feet long and about 110 to 150 pounds."
The Bull Shark is the most likely to give you trouble here in NC. They can get up to 10 feet long and can be aggressive. (learn more about the sharks of North Carolina here).
Sunset Beach is home to fascinating wildlife, including many varieties of fish (including sharks), birds, reptiles, dolphins, and insects. Check out our previous blog, The Most Wonderful Wildlife on Sunset Beach, to learn more.