Shark On The Aliwal Shoal Reef
There are a few interesting things that all sharks have in common. These include a skeleton comprised entirely of cartilage, skin made up of teeth-like denticles, and two additional senses on top of the five we as humans possess. These are electro-sensors in their snouts known as ampullae of Lorenzini, and a lateral line that can detect vibrations in the water. Here are a few fascinating facts about our beautiful local species.
Tiger Sharks (Galeocerdo Cuvier)
The tiger shark, Attaining a length of over 5 m (16 ft). It is found in many tropical and temperate waters, and it is especially common around coastal areas and central Pacific islands. Dark stripes down its body which resemble a tiger’s pattern, which fade as the shark matures. The tiger shark is a solitary hunter, but we do see more than one on a dive. Its diet includes a wide variety of prey, ranging from crustaceans, fish, seals, birds, squid, turtles, and sea snakes to dolphins and even other smaller sharks. The tiger shark is considered a near threatened species due to finning and fishing by humans.
Bull Sharks (Carcharhinus Leucas)
The bull shark, also known as the Zambezi shark, is a shark commonly found worldwide in warm shallow waters along coasts and in rivers and presence in brackish and freshwater systems including estuaries and rivers. The bull shark can thrive in both saltwater and freshwater and can travel far up rivers. They have been known to travel far up the Umkomaas River and are seen regularly. A world-record breaking shark measuring 4 metres total length.
Dusky Sharks (Carcharhinus Obscurus)
The dusky shark, Populations migrate seasonally towards the poles in the summer and towards the equator in the winter, traveling hundreds to thousands of kilometers. One of the largest members of its genus, the dusky shark reaches 4.2 m (14 ft) in length. It has a slender, streamlined body and can be identified by its short round snout, long sickle-shaped pectoral fins, ridge between the first and second dorsal fins, and faintly marked fins.
Oceanic Blacktip Sharks (Carcharhinus limbatus)
The Blacktip Shark, Pointed snout and black tips on its fins (especially its dorsal fin). This fella is at most 2.9 meters (9.5ft) in length, but is usually closer to 1.6 meters (5ft). Inhabits coastal waters and preys on fish, but also takes cephalopods and crusteaceans.
Hammerhead Sharks (Sphyrna zygaena)
Swims above continental shelves in the surface waters, occasionally inshore. feeds primarily on squid and some fishes, but diet varies between areas and may include benthic crustaceans or elasmobranchs fishes. because of its pelagic habits usually seen singly, but may occur in large schools offshore.
Great White (Carcharodon carcharias)
The great white shark, white pointer, white shark, or white death, is a species of large which can be found in the coastal surface waters of all the major oceans. The great white shark is mainly known for its size, with the largest individuals known to have approached or exceeded 6.1 m (20 ft) in length, and 2,268 kg (5,000 lb) in weight. This shark reaches its maturity around 15 years of age and can have a life span of over 30 years.