The Megalodon: is it still in our waters?

The Megalodon is one of the biggest predators that has ever lived on Earth. With a set of 276 teeth and a maximum length of 18 meters, this predator could bite a whale in half. The word Megalodon itself means “big tooth”.

It inhabited the Earth about 2.6 million years ago and then became extinct due to lack of prey and rivalry with other massive predators. Its diet consisted of whales, seals and sea turtles. Its closest “family member” is the great white shark.

Now, since the 2018 movie The Meg came out, many people have been questioning its extinction. Is the Megalodon really extinct or are we feeding each other lies by believing it to be extinct?

There is no definite answer to that, but the closest we get is ‘no’. Megs are sharks that live in warm shallow waters, so if they were not extinct we would have already seen one by now. They are not suited to cold and deep waters, which is why they went extinct: their prey started migrating to colder waters. Another clue that the Meg is probably extinct is that we find fossils of their teeth (which could grow up to 17cm long), but no recent examples. Also, if it was still to exist, it would have to feed on something, but we haven’t yet discovered carcasses of animals that could have been bitten by the Meg.

Other than the movie, many fake videos have been roaming around the web. Click here for a link to the video that proves that the videos are fake.

Maybe there’s a Meg swimming around out there somewhere, but it for now it needn’t be a worry!

(information for this post came from https://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/could-megalodon-still-live-deep-ocean/ )

Written by Sarah Geron

Sharks saving people!

By taking people to dive with sharks rather than to kill them, some fisherman in the Philippines have found a way to save their village from poverty.

By taking people to dive with sharks rather than to kill them, some fisherman in the Philippines have found a way to save their village from poverty.

How whale sharks saved a Philippine fishing town and its sea life

Diving tours run by former fishermen have lifted the villagers out of poverty and given new protection to overfished marine life

Read the whole article here.

Posted by John Gardener

Flexitarian shark!

The bonnethead shark has recently been found to be an omnivore. Its diet includes a large proportion of seagrass along with fish, crabs, snails, and shrimp; in fact the proportion of vegetable matter in its diet could be as high as 60%.

As the article says, “…contrary to their bloodthirsty image, some sharks are not irrepressible meat eaters, but are happy to munch on vegetation too.”

That is a helpful reminder that not only do we still have lots to learn about sharks, but the idea of sharks as dangerous killers is mistaken, and unhelpful to the cause of shark preservation.

Posted by John Gardener

Shark hunting spree.

Towards the end of this summer in Whitsunday, Australia two women were bitten by a shark within a 24 hour period. People overreacted and sent fishermen to try and catch the shark. Instead of trying to find out which shark was the culprit, they decided to kill six sharks including a 12 foot tiger shark. Click here for the article.

It is awful to hear this news. Accidents happen. If someone was to be killed and the police couldn’t find the murderer they wouldn’t just arrest random people and hopefully catch the murderer. They would investigate. Accidents like this happen. We humans, most of the time, look like seals to sharks. Other times people swim in shark infested waters and are invading their natural habitat.

As you can see, the two women where injured but weren’t killed, why? Because sharks find humans nasty-tasting. Sometimes we mistake a stranger for our friend because we can’t see their face, so sharks mistake us for seals.  Then when they realise that we are not their meal they let us go. I am not saying that it is “right” for them to bite us. I am just saying that these are accidents that can happen and we shouldn’t go killing multiple sharks just because we are scared of them. Ignorance feeds fear.

Also, if you know that where you are swimming are shark infested waters, then it’s your risk to take. You can’t blame the sharks because you are invading their territory.

Written by: Sarah Geron

Background to the project

Hiya, this is Sarah. I thought you might like to know how this project got started.

A few weeks ago, John Gardener showed me an  an article in the Guardian newspaper about the serious decline of shortfin mako sharks in the Atlantic. Click here for a link to the article (click here for more information). He told me that when visiting a supermarket in Italy, Vicenza, he was shocked to see a mako shark being sold at the fish counter. The article mentioned Italy specifically and then we realised that in fact it was true. I had seen other species of sharks being sold in Padua before. I have always been proud to say that I was half Italian, but now I felt ashamed. How could we be so ignorant? I immediately wanted to do something about it. So I contacted a few friends from Save Our Seas and we decided that the best way was to start our own blog and website called Save Our Sharks. We then got on it straight away, and we are hoping that our visitors will spread the word and positive awareness about sharks.

Written by: Sarah Geron

Welcome!

Thanks for visiting our site! What we want most of all is to encourage you and everyone else to think about one of the world’s most misunderstood creatures.

Let’s face it, to most people sharks are terrifying because of the way movies, books and popular culture have portrayed them. In fact they almost seem like enemies to humans. Children learn to fear them completely irrationally, and the cycle of confusion continues.

We want to push back. Sharks play an irreplaceable role in the ocean environment, but they have never been as threatened as they are today. By stimulating discussion and raising awareness, we want to correct the misunderstandings and spread the word about the importance of sharks.

We hope you will join us!

Written by: Sarah Geron