How Sharks Can Walk
We love to celebrate new animal discoveries. Every year smart and dedicated people from around the world learn about more things that share this planet with us. Sometimes they find bugs, sometimes birds, other times they find sharks! A new group of discoveries has now added four more species to our database of sharks, but these four species not only swim, but they can walk. This, of course, begs today’s big question: Can sharks walk?
There are around 1.2 million species of living things known to science. This big number accounts for your pets, plants, wild animals, fungi, single-celled organisms, and algae-like life-forms, but more impressive is the number of species that have yet to be discovered by science, around 8.7 million!
However, thanks to a recent announcement by a team of scientists, we can now add 4 more species to our known to science animals data base! And all four of these species are sharks…that can walk! Yes, that’s right, walking sharks.
While sharks, in general, are very gentle beautiful creatures that have had some pretty bad PR, making them out to be dangerous killers. So, knowing that a walking shark exists probably does not help those that are worried, but relax people, it only walks…it can’t run after you! These sharks use their fins to move around on reefs during low tide, where they were observed walking in shallow water.
On average these newly discovered walking sharks are about three feet long and pose absolutely no problems to humans. Small crustaceans and mollusks, however…well, these sharks’ ability to withstand low oxygen environments and being able to walk on their fins makes them the top predator on those reefs. These sharks can be found in the coastal waters around Australia and New Guinea.
Remarkably the announcement of these four species of walking sharks was not totally new news. These four are now added to the five other species already known to science. Making a total of 9 species of walking sharks known to science and these researchers feel there may be more left to discover.
So remember folks, if it looks like a shark and walks like a shark, it’s probably a walking shark.
For additional shark related information, here's a look at how climate change is impacting sharks and coastal areas nearby!