‘Do sharks actively hunt humans?’: Some big shark questions answered!

This is an image from NOAA of a shark.

JAMESTOWN, R.I. (WLNE) — It’s not everyday one has access to a shark expert, so time to get some big questions answered!

Dr. Jason Ramsay, shark expert and associate professor of biology from Westfield State University, has the answers.

Q: Can sharks smell a drop of blood in the water from a mile away?

A: False! While they smell the blood in the water, they cannot tell how far away it is from the source.

Q: Can sharks detect electrical activity produced by the muscles of their prey?

A: True. It’s a close-range sense used to hone in on prey in the last moments before capture. They can detect current as small as a millionth of a volt- or the heartbeat of a fish at rest.

Q: Are sharks immune to cancer?

A: Sharks absolutely do get cancer. 100% yes. That also means shark-body-based dietary supplements will do absolutely nothing for you. Cartilage supplements and the like are not effective.

Q: All sharks have to swim to breathe?

A: False. In fact, not all of them do.

Q: Can sharks swim backwards?

A: Nope. Ramsay confirmed that sharks lack the mechanics to swim backwards, maneuvering by falling away instead of backing up. He notes that some sharks can walk backwards… bamboo sharks can do it!

Q: Do sharks actively hunt humans?

A: No. Humans are not a shark’s choice of prey.

Q: Sharks are ancient creatures: true or false?

A: True! Sharks have been on earth for more than 400 million years!

Q: Is shark finning the largest threat to sharks in the ocean?

A: No. They’re being swept us as bycatch from commercial fishing operations is cutting the populations to a concerning degree.

Q: Are shark fisheries actually sustainable?

A: Yes!

And finally…

Q: Is Megalodon alive?

A: NO! Meg has been extinct for millions of years.

Categories: Scientifically Speaking