The statistics of the Census of Marine life from December 2006 reveal that 70% of the world´s oceans are uninhabited by sharks.
500 different shark species are known worldwide.
The meaning of the word shark is of uncertain origin. The word and the first specimen were brought to London in 1569 by Capt. John Hawkins.
Another source says that the name may come from the Maya word for fish.
Shark skeletons are made of cartilage. This makes them lighter than bony fish. As sharks do not have a swim bladder, they must keep swimming to prevent sinking.
Sharks are carnivorous. Three known species are filter feeders: the 14 metre long and 12 ton whale shark, the basking shark, and the megamouth shark. They swim with mouths wide open and filter the water for plankton and small animals.
The shark´s olfactory organs are situated on either side of the snout. Smell is so vital to a shark that the olfactory centre can constitute as much as 2/3 of cerebral matter. Some species can detect the scent of blood in as little as one part per 25 million in seawater.
Through a constant head swinging movement, the shark follows this scent trail to its conclusion.
A shark´s hearing can detect very low frequency vibrations of 600 hertz-for example a struggling fish, the grunting of a seal, or a fighting fish; the hearing is highly sensitive in the range of 100 hertz where vibrations are produced by sick or wounded animals.
A shark´s eyes are ten times more light-sensitive than those of a human and most shark species can see in colour. The eyes are so placed on both sides of the head that the shark can see in almost all directions.
Shark scales point backwards, so stroking a shark from head to tail produces a smooth feeling. However, stroking the skin in the opposite direction reveals a rough texture.
There are two different types of breathing technique:< br>
Pelagic types use mainly propulsion as their means of breathing. That means they swim with mouths open so that water continually flows over the gills.
Benthic types on the other hand, open and close their mouths alternately. This way they can suck in enough water to meet their oxygen requirements.
Pelagic sharks are therefore compelled to swim constantly so that enough water will flow over the gills and cover their oxygen needs.
On our poster, we see a Great White Shark.
In a smaller illustration, the shark´s body parts are identified.
We see different forms of tail fins, breathing functionality is explained, and the shark´s global distribution is displayed by means of a world map.
Unfortunately, 38 million sharks are killed every year by commercial fishing fleets, who supply the producers of shark fin soup and other shark products.
Captions and explanations are in Italian.
Size: 68 x 98 cm
Art print on 200g paper, coated with matt varnish.