Test Your Shark Smarts Quiz

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Test Your Shark Smarts Quiz - Quiz

You’ve probably seen a shark movie or two—you may even tune in to Discovery Channel’s Shark Week every year— but how much do you really know about sharks? Take this true-or-false quiz to find out.


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 

    Sharks are a threat to some fragile marine ecosystems.

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    B. False
    Explanation
    Sharks play a critical role in keeping our oceans healthy. For example, when shark populations drop around coral reefs, ecosystems are thrown off balance. That can result in the death of coral and the various species that depend on the reefs for survival.

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  • 2. 

    Hippopotamuses kill more people each year than sharks kill.

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    A. True
    Explanation
    Your odds of being attacked by a shark are 1 in 11.5 million. That’s lower than your odds of being struck by lightning—or of being killed driving to the beach. In fact, hippos kill 50 times more humans per year than sharks. Other animals that are deadlier to people than sharks: elephants, snails, and dogs. Mosquitos actually kill more people each year than all other animals combined. Though there are more than 500 shark species in the world, most shark attacks are by a few specific species— great white, tiger, and bull sharks. Sharks have much more to fear from us than we have to fear from them. Researchers estimate that approximately 100 million sharks are killed each year in commercial fisheries.

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  • 3. 

    More than half of known shark and shark-like species (rays and chimaeras) are at risk.

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    A. True
    Explanation
    More than half of the known shark species and their relatives are believed to be threatened or near threatened with extinction. To date, only eight sharks have been given protections that limit international trade—the great white, basking, whale, oceanic whitetip, porbeagle, and three species of hammerheads. When these strong measures are put in place and enforced, shark populations have a chance to recover. However, many shark species lack these protections.The Pew Charitable Trusts’ global shark conservation campaign has helped establish 10 shark sanctuaries around the world. All ban commercial shark fishing and together total about 4.9 million square miles. You can find shark sanctuaries in places such as Palau, The Bahamas, Honduras, and the British Virgin Islands. (Learn more here)Pew’s shark conservation efforts are currently focused on protecting silky, bigeye thresher, common thresher, and pelagic thresher sharks through international advocacy. These sharks face drastic population declines, primarily because of the international demand for their fins.

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  • 4. 

    Some shark species are at risk because they're worth more as food than left in the ocean.

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    B. False
    Explanation
    Sharks are worth more alive than dead. A fished reef shark is worth US$108, while the same shark left alive for tourism purposes can help bring in US$1.9 million over its lifetime. Sharks also provide ecosystem services that are hard to put a price tag on, such as maintaining the health of coral reef and sea grass ecosystems.

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  • 5. 

    "Virgin birth" is possible in sharks.

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    A. True
    Explanation
    Sharks are actually capable of asexual reproduction (“virgin birth”) as discovered by Demian Chapman, a Pew marine fellow. Learn more about this and Chapman’s other innovative shark research here.

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