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The Hidden Lives of Sharks

Written by PETA | August 1, 2011

If you’re a regular PETA Files reader, you no doubt know that sharks’ bad rap is undeserved. While there are a handful of well-publicized shark attacks around the world every year, humans pose the bigger threat—we kill about 73 million sharks annually. According to the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week website, you’re more likely to be bitten by another person than by a shark! In honor of Shark Week, here are five other facts about these mysterious ocean dwellers:

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Sharks may seem to be all business, but they also have a playful side. Porbeagle sharks have been observed playing with objects floating in the water, repeatedly rolling themselves in kelp fronds, and chasing after other sharks who trailed pieces of kelp behind them.  

2. Sharks work together to obtain food—and mind their manners when eating. Biologist Peter Best once saw several great whites working together to move the carcass of a partially beached whale to deeper waters so that they could eat it. Caribbean reef sharks follow a pecking order when eating, with the biggest shark eating first.

3. Frightfully fast, sharks are excellent swimmers, thanks to scales covered with tiny teeth that enable water to flow smoothly over their bodies. Several years ago, Speedo introduced a swimsuit modeled after shark skin—but the suits worked too well and were banned from major swim meets for giving swimmers an unfair advantage.

4. We don’t know if great whites like Great White (ahem), but they love AC/DC. A charter boat operator in Australia has discovered that great white sharks become less aggressive when songs by AC/DC are played underwater.

5. While whale sharks can give birth to 300 babies at a time, most sharks grow and mature slowly, have long gestation periods (up to two years!), and produce few young—making these animals particularly vulnerable to overfishing.

Written by Paula Moore


Commenting is closed.
  • Olivia C.Lee says:

    Thank you for sharing the truth about sharks. I used to be afraid of sharks because of the movie ‘Jaws’…I feel so bad how ignorant I was! I just judged them as human attacker because of lots of horror movies that made me think sharks are killers. However, I never thought they had to be extincted.They are also God’s creatures.They are living creatures who have the right to live and who feel the pain just like we do. And I learned that some sharks do give birth to live young. They live in the deep sea far from your place..What did they do to you? Did they invade your house and try to attack you? Please leave them alone and just carry on your own life!! I would appreciate if you respect that sharks are also living creatures who want to survive and enjoy their lives without pain.

  • LISA POOLEY says:

    They let evil scum live and slaughter all of our planets beatifull animals – man is the killer.

  • Jay Davey says:

    Man is this planets cancer… the dominant proportion of man is shameless in doing “what-ever benifits him financialy regardless of right or wrong!!!”

  • Kraig and Valerie Schweiss says:

    73 million seems outrageous! At this rate, extinction is inevitable, and there goes the food chain of the ocean! The chain reaction of an imbalanced ecosystem will be unbelievable. But, hey! We just gotta kill those darn sharks!!!

  • rhondadknight says:

    Humans are the most atrocious species on this planet,we murder,we steal,we torture,we lie,we abuse everything and anything if it will give us pleasure or gain in some form.People digust me.LEAVE THE BLOODY SHARKS AND ALL THE ANIMAL ALONE>

  • Kaley says:

    We need to act fast, the shark population is being wiped out everyday. We need to make more people aware! NO SHARK FIN SOUP!

  • Heidi Rutzen says:

    @ Nelson Franks “Biology 101”: The movie JAWS inflamed lurking paranoia in humans who have always been afraid of being eaten alive. The movie gave license for “hunters” to go out and kill these magnificent animals while the ignorant public leered on. Without the movie the trade in great white shark teeth, jaws and fins might not have occurred. The author actually PUBLICALLY apologised for the horrific impact his book had on the great white shark (amongst other species). The great white shark is heading towards extinction and other shark species are sure to follow suit. The conservative estimate amount of sharks killed annually for the shark-fin industry is over 100 million (not 73 million). Although GWS are not hunted for their fins (a GWS jaw can fetch up to US$100 000) they are easy to lure and easy to kill if you can find them. The impact of the demise of GWS, the apex predator of the oceans, is incalculable. Current estimates of GWS GLOBAL population is under 1000 (Save Our Seas). Tip: Best way to avoid a shark attack? STAY OUT OF THE OCEAN.

  • Nelson Franks says:

    Biology 101: the shark is an animal like all other animals (including humans). It eats to survive. To Edsal: That “stupid movie” Jaws was a modernized man vs nature tale a la Moby Dick. Though it didn’t feature sharks as cuddly creatures, it wasn’t far off from many factual encounters and it brought about a fairly keen interest in sharks without which this article might not have been written. Try not to worry so much about those evil human monsters; the planet has been around a very long time (much longer than homo sapiens sapiens) and has withstood far worse bruises.

  • John says:

    While it is true that the Great Whites become less aggressive when AC/DC is played underwater; it is also true that they become suicidal when Justin Bieber is played underwater.

  • Million Book Read says:

    You are more likely to get bitten by a unruly child than a shark especially if you are a teacher. Reading is the key to bring myths out from the shadows and learn the true facts.

  • Elizabeth Sevillano says:

    I am happy to learn the good side of the most feared creature of the ocean. Maybe from this report Hollywood and Disney can create stories where sharks aren’t the “bad guys” and teach people, especially young generations, that sharks are wonderful living creatures to admire and respect. I mention Hollywood and Disney because most people get influenced by the big screen. Let‘s see what we can learn from the newest version of the Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

  • Edsel says:

    It’s all because of this stupid movie called “Jaws” where the sharks were portrayed as monsters. That is why it’s population is now under threat. In reality, we humans are the real monsters in this planet.

  • Kathy Hodges says:

    They do have a very bad reputation,however they are just what anything else does,EATS! They are beautiful despite the bad rap they get.

  • ssaa says:

    Thanks for the cool facts about the sharks!