When you say the word “shark”, you're guaranteed to get a response. These fascinating and important apex predators have no natural enemies – other than humans.
Overfishing them can cause huge impacts down the food chain. In fact, without them, whole ecosystems could collapse.
Shark fun facts:
- Sharks smell in stereo – they can tell the direction of a scent
- The surface of shark teeth is 100 percent fluoride – the same ingredient that's added to toothpaste to make your own teeth strong
- Sharks do not have a single bone in their bodies – their skeletons are made of cartilage
Have you heard of the Port Jackson Shark?
First discovered in Sydney’s Port Jackson Harbour, they are only found in southern Australian waters and nowhere else in the world.
While they spend their lives in the shadows, Port Jackson Sharks are certainly worthy of the spotlight.
Port Jackson Sharks at Taronga
Scientists are delving into the social behaviour of sharks to determine why and when large marine predators congregate, and the mysteries of their society.
In late winter to early spring Port Jackson Sharks gather together to form aggregations in the shallow reef, kelp, rock and seagrass beds to breed. Research has observed more than 30 sharks together.
Scientists from Taronga Zoo and Macquarie University have spent the past few years tagging and tracking Port Jackson Sharks to better understand these aggregations through studying their movements and interactions.
During September and October 10 Port Jackson Sharks will be calling Taronga Zoo home. Conducting research in a controlled environment, like here at the Zoo, is an essential step to translating the data that we’re collecting in the wild.
After this research the Port Jackson Sharks will be released back to the wild where their transmitters will continue collecting data for the next 10 years. By understanding the formation of shark aggregations and shark society we will learn how to better manage shark populations and maintain healthy marine ecosystems.
Visit the Port Jackson Sharks at the Seal Cove exhibit. Map Ref. 8D. Check the Zoo map here