Shark fun facts
Aquarium Teen Programs Coordinator Austin shares some tells us about the species of sharks the Aquarium cares for and how we can all protect these animals in the wild.
Hey, everybody. I'm Austin educator and teen programs coordinator at the North Carolina Aquariums at Fort Fisher. And I'm just out here enjoying some of the wonderful ecosystems that we have here in New Hanover County. Ecosystems require all parts working together in order to function properly in marine environments. That includes sharks that help keep those ecosystems healthy and balanced. There are over 500 species of sharks in the world that all have amazing adaptations that play an important role in their ecosystems. Shark teeth, for example, come in all different shapes and sizes based on the prey that they like to eat. I brought with me a couple of my favorite native shark species so that we can talk about him a little more in depth. This tiny set of teeth right here belongs to the smallest member of the hammerhead shark family. This is the bonnet head shark, which only gets about 3 to 4 feet in length, and they have very, very tiny teeth that help them crush up crustaceans like crabs and lobsters to be a main part of their diet. This set of teeth right here belongs to one of the most common sharks in North Carolina. The sandbar shark these air easily identified by the very large first dorsal fin and also these small triangular teeth that are perfect for the opportunistic lifestyle where they predate on all sorts of animals like bony fish rays and even small molluscs and less but certainly not least, are the teeth of a sand tiger shark sand Tiger sharks are identified by having two dorsal fins that are almost the same size and these long nor Li like teeth. The Steve act like the prongs of a fork to catch large, bony fish like snapper and herring sand. Tiger sharks are facing a lot of challenges in the wild. So here at the aquarium, because we care about our sand tiger sharks, we've been tagging them in the wild, and we're tracking their movements. We think that the coast of North Carolina is an important popping ground for sand tiger sharks, and we're using that information to learn more about the reproductive strategies so we can help them around the world where there are populations that are critically endangered. We also know that sharks are oftentimes caught as unintended targets through unsustainable fishing practices. Now we know you can't help tag wild sand tiger sharks with us, but you can join our team by buying sustainable seafood in the grocery stores and help save our shark species. Just check the labels on the back to make sure you know where that fish was caught and how it was caught. And if you need a little extra help, there's an app for that. Check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium seafood. Watch up, and that will help you double check to make sure that you were making the best choice for our oceans and our shark species. Thanks for joining me. Everybody Be sure to check out our social media for all our fishy fund. Until then, swim on and we'll see you soon.