One of the most asked questions if wanting to learn to SCUBA Dive is “what about sharks”? What about them? Sharks are an awesome and wondrous sight to see. There are over 440 known species of sharks. However, we only get to see a few of these while Scuba Diving.
Nope, they don’t wear a nurse’s hat. But that could be fun to see. They are however known as the “couch potatoes of the sea.” They prefer to dwell near the ocean floor. A nurse shark is able to rest motionless while other sharks have to keep moving to survive.
These sharks are found in tropical waters. There are 5 types of Reef Sharks.
- Blacktip Reef Sharks
- Whitetip Reef Sharks
- Gray Reef Sharks
- Caribbean Reef Sharks
- Silvertip Reef Sharks.
These sharks are not aggressive or dangerous unless provoked.
I know many of you have heard about our “Hammerhead Shark” sighting in Cozumel that NO one got a photo of, but we really did see it. Hammerhead sharks wide-set eyes give them a better visual range than other sharks. Their highly specialized sensory organs over their mallet shaped head help them scan the ocean for food. They do not actively seek out human prey, but are very defensive and will attack when provoked.
Tiger sharks get their name from their looks, hence their “tiger-like” stripes. But, the interesting thing is they show up most as they are juveniles and fade as they grow older. These sharks are a predator that eats just about anything it finds or captures.
These sharks get their name from their short blunt snout and their tendency to head butt their prey before attacking. They are aggressive and usually live near high population areas close to the shoreline. They are not bothered by brackish or fresh water and can even venture inland via rivers.
These gentle giants are very docile creatures. They are a slow-moving filter feeding carpet shark and the largest known extant fish species. They reach lengths of 40 feet or more. Their favorite food is plankton and YES, it is safe to swim with Whale Sharks.
Great White Sharks
Great Whites Sharks are torpedo shaped with powerful tails and can propel through the water at up to 15 miles per hour. Also known as great white, white shark or white pointer is a large mackerel shark. They can be found in the coastal surface waters of major oceans.
On average, sharks are responsible for only about 6 human deaths per year. That is less than attacks by hippopotamuses, elephants, and cows. Sharks are actually more harmless than you think.