Shark Week: Scientists Recognize 370 Species in Tropical Waters

Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster movie “Jaws” did a lot to bring sharks into the mainstream of attention and scientists now recognize 370 species of sharks, perhaps the most efficient ocean predator of any sea creature.

Although fisherman can encounter sharks in almost every one of the world’s oceans, they tend to prefer warmer, tropical waters where they live at depths of around 2,000 meters.

Indo-pacific ocean waters tend to have the most shark species in one location. Although they typically swim through the water around 3 mph, they can achieve speeds of up to 18 mph when pursuing prey.

One of the most distinctive features of sharks is their ability to close their eyes when engaged in combat in order to protect their eyesight from other creatures. Different species of shark have different body types in addition to different colours. Teeth size and style also differ among the 370 species of shark.

Sharks continue to replace their teeth as they grow older and shark teeth are also known to grow in size as the animal’s growth increases. The bite of a shark exerts a tremendous 18 tons of pressure per square inch, enough to rip a man’s arm or leg completely off of his body.