Sunday, July 31, 2011

We're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat...

"We're gonna need a bigger boat..."

This famous line was uttered by Roy Scheider's character, Chief of Police Martin Brody, in the first JAWS movie in 1975, after he gets his first good look at the size of the shark that is circling the tiny fishing boat he's on. 

I'm not known to quote movies (mostly because I have a terrible memory), but this one line from JAWS is one that I've repeated over and over again since I was 5 years old whenever something seemingly insurmountable comes along in my life. 

I have a clear recollection of sitting on my Dad's lap in the recliner chair in our living and watching JAWS with him in absolute horror and amazement. I witnessed that same horror and amazement in faces of my boys as we watched the kick-off of the Discovery Channel's annual Shark Week tonight. I'm sure we weren't alone...last year's Shark Week brought in over 30 million viewers!! 

I have no doubt that sharks will be the main topic of conversation in our house this week as we learn more and more about them each night. 

Here are some fun shark facts you can share with your kids:

  • Sharks live in all of the Earth's oceans. They have been on Earth for millions of years. Sharks ruled the sea even before dinosaurs ruled the land.
  • Sharks have 5 rows of teeth. They lose and replace more than 10,000 teeth in their lifetime.
  • Sharks are fish, but they are not like other fish. Instead of bones, sharks have cartilage. Cartilage allows sharks to glide, twist and turn. It helps them move and bend.
  • Shark skin is rough and bumpy like sandpaper. Their skin both protects them and helps them swim faster. 
  • Sharks eyes are even better than humans eyes. Even in deep, dark water, a shark can see clearly.
  • A shark can smell a single drop of blood in more than 25 million drops of ocean.
  • There are about 375 different types of sharks known. 
  • The smallest shark is the spined pygmy shark. It is about 8 inches long and has a glow in the dark belly.
  • The largest shark is the whale shark. It can be up to 50 feet long.
  • The fastest shark is the mako shark. It can swim up to 20 mph.


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