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If you ask someone to picture a shark, they’ll most like envisage their torpedo-like body shape, large distinctive dorsal fin and gaping tooth filled jaws.From the outside sharks may appear quite primitive, but despite being an ancient group of animals they are actually highly sophisticated.With over 500 known species to date, sharks come in a variety of different shapes and sizes, each with their own unique behaviours and fascinating anatomy.

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The general anatomy of sharks is fairly consistent across the different species, and the fact that they have remained unchanged for so long underlines just how effective their anatomical make-up is.

Unlike most fish that have just one gill, sharks boast five to seven gill slits on the sides of the head, and rely on a large oil filled liver for buoyancy as opposed to a gas-filled swim bladder.

The gentle giants such as the whale and basking shark feed on plankton, filtering the water and trapping small organisms with sieve like filaments.

The range of prey is extremely broad, from small bivalves and crustaceans, to seals, birds and even other sharks.

It is estimated that some sharks may lose 30,000 or more teeth in their lifetime, with replacement rates varying from several days to several months.

The majority of sharks have 8 rigid fins: The shark’s tail provides it’s forward motion, with speed and acceleration dependent on shape and size.This allows them to lift their head and thrust their mouth forward to bite it’s prey.While this varies among different species, most sharks have this ability to some degree.Shark levels are in actual fact declining and are amongst the most threatened marine vertebrates on Earth, with some species facing extinction.Sadly, many of the threats they face are a result of humans, and include recreational fishing, shark finning, habitat loss, pollution, and bycatching."Hi Pre Dating: Myself and Theresa (pictured) were the first couple to chat at a Honolulu Pre Dating event (venue All-Star Hawaii) in March of last year.

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