Cunning underwater predators
Sharks have lived in our oceans for more than 420 million years! That makes them older than trees!
Their brains have evolved to become more intelligent and devoted to their senses – mainly their ability to smell. There are over 500 species of shark in our oceans and you’ll see a few species when you explore our Ocean Tunnel!
One of our favorites, the black tip reef shark, has prominent black markings on its fins so they're easy to spot! This JAW-some shark is found on the tropical coral reefs of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. They prefer shallow, tropical waters.
These sharks are viviparous, meaning they give birth to live young rather than laying eggs. In the first few years of their life, young black tip reef sharks often fall prey to larger fish such as groupers, grey reef sharks, tiger sharks or even bigger black tip reef sharks. Juvenile black tips often use mangroves as a nursery ground; hiding amongst the tightly woven roots where bigger sharks can't reach them.
It’s a common misconception that shark cartilage can be used to help cure cancer. In fact, sharks get cancer just like us.
The SEA LIFE Trust is working to protect sharks and their ocean habitats.Find Out More
Sharks keep populations of smaller fish in check. Without sharks, entire marine ecosystems would collapse.