Smart About Sharks


Owen Davey tracks the history of a misunderstood and fascinating creature in Smart About Sharks. This animal has been in existence for more than 420 million years. While varieties live in nearly every ocean in the planet, we have so much to discover about them.

There are eight varieties of shark, from rays to blind sharks to dogfish. Owen Davey shows us how their features compare. Furthermore, in one astounding page he measures them to scale, so that we might realise the side of a banded shark against a whale shark. Yet none would ever measure up to the prehistoric megalodon.

Comparisons continue, including the fastest, the most unusual ability (considered to be the epaulette shark’s), the highest jumper, the laziest and the best bark! Thereafter we learn about their ‘weird and wonderful’ varieties within the shark world, such as the pyjama shark and goblin shark.

I was particularly intrigued by the information offered about the hammerhead shark with its eyes on either side of it cephalofoil. These enable it to have a better vision than any other shark, especially when moving its head.

From the variety, depth and interest of the information gathered and shared in Smart about Sharks, to the quality of presentation, this is a superb book. We learn so much, build such respect and thereafter feel a need to read, share and understand even more about a wonderful creature.

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Smart About Sharks

Owen Davey

(Flying Eye Books)– hardback

When you consider that ‘sharks evolved over 420 million years ago‘ it seems that humans should be more Smart About Sharks.  However time, exploitation and misunderstanding have built up a mystique and fear that works against this fascinating animal.
From the fact that there are over five hundred different species, to the way they’ve evolved, to individual ‘super powers‘, sharks are awesome. For example, a shark uses its caudal fin to propel it through the water, while its denticles (shark skin) enables to swim faster, without friction. Thereafter its exceptional hearing enables a shark to hear its prey ‘more than two football fields way‘. Their senses are phenomenal! Did you know, for example, that some species of shark can ‘smell one drop of blood dissolved within one million drops of seawater‘? Furthermore, they are ‘ten times better at seeing underwater’ than humans.
Owen Davey breaks down the shark’s structure to explain how individual features, e.g., teeth, help it operate successfully. Thereafter, he demonstrates various species differences in behaviour. Blacktip sharks, for example, ‘bait ball’ in numbers to decimate their prey.
Owen Davey is an outstanding non-fiction researcher and presenter. We are awed by the quality and strength of his book, such as  My First Pop-Up Dinosaurs. Bookwagon is proud to present, Smart About Sharks, a truly gripping title.


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