Be Champion Of Shark Week With These Shark Facts

Shark Week ain’t over yet. Impress your friends with these amazing shark facts, courtesy of NSF-funded research. BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { if (BF_STATIC.bf_test_mode) localStorage.setItem(‘posted_date’, 1408121728); }); BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { document.getElementById(“update_posted_time_3418930”).innerHTML = “posted on ” + UI.dateFormat.get_formatted_date(1408121728); });

 
 

1. Sharks are the envy of engineers

 

Be Champion Of Shark Week With These Shark Facts

 

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Sarosh Jacob, saroshjacob.com

 

More than 400 million years of evolution have shaped sharks into lean underwater machines. Engineers are studying shark skin – made of tiny V-shaped scales called dermal denticles – to mimic its sleek, drag-reducing qualities. Bioengineered shark skin could be used to improve the performance and agility of aircraft and submarines.

 

2. They can sense your electric field

 

Be Champion Of Shark Week With These Shark Facts

 

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Mote Marine Laboratory; PLOS one article “Multisensory Integration and Behavior Plasticity in Sharks from Different Ecological Niches” / Via plosone.org

 

Yes, it’s true sharks can smell blood. But that’s not the only sense these predators use. In addition to smell, sharks rely on vision, feel – using special organs called lateral lines that sense water movement – and electroreception, a sort of sixth sense that allows sharks to detect the electrical fields of living things. Research has found that different shark species favor different senses; when one sense is blocked (as in the gif above) they switch to another.

 

3. Sharks balance ecosystems

 

Be Champion Of Shark Week With These Shark Facts

 

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Michael Heithaus, Florida International University and Patrick Greene SymbioStudios

 

In many places sharks live, they are the top predators. Their behavior affects every organism down the food chain – from their sea turtle prey, for example, to the seagrass those sea turtles eat. Lose the sharks, and the rest of the ecosystem suffers. Scientists are working to better understand exactly how sharks influence their ecosystems; knowledge crucial if we are to conserve dwindling shark populations.

 

4. Did we mention shark robots?

 

Be Champion Of Shark Week With These Shark Facts

 

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Matteo Bjornsson and Sarosh Jacob, saroshjacob.com

 

Scientists are studying shark movement – especially the animal’s flexible, powerful spine – to develop highly maneuverable aquatic robots. One Vassar College biologist has developed a biomimetic (completely artificial) shark vertebral column.

 

5. Shark vertebrae are like tree rings

 

Be Champion Of Shark Week With These Shark Facts

 

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Mote Marine Laboratory; PLOS One article “Multisensory Integration and Behavioral Plasticity in Sharks from Different Ecological Niches” / Via plosone.org

 

Great white sharks can live for more than 70 years (for males; females reach about 40 years old). Scientists determine shark age by analyzing mineralized tissue in the animal’s ear bones, vertebrae and fin rays. These body parts accrue layers of tissue as sharks age, just like annual growth rings in trees. Still, it takes some careful calculations – and even radiocarbon dating – to accurately measure age. The composition of shark growth bands can also be used to track changes in a shark’s diet over time.

 

6. Sharks are your distant relatives

 

Be Champion Of Shark Week With These Shark Facts

 

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Sarosh Jacob, saroshjacob.com

 

Fun fact: humans are gnathostomes, a group meaning “jaw-mouthed” which includes nearly all living vertebrates. Even more fun fact: the common ancestor of all these jawed vertebrates on Earth resembled a shark. The braincase of a 290-million-year-old fossil fish, Acanthodes bronni, shed light on this prehistoric link; researchers found it had characteristics of both sharks and early bony fishes – the evolutionary lineage that would eventually include humans.

 

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/nationalsciencefoundation/be-champion-of-shark-week-with-these-shark-facts-k74n

 

The post Be Champion Of Shark Week With These Shark Facts appeared first on Food Recipes Questions Information Answers.

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