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See the fact file below for more information on Shark Bay or alternatively, you can download our 22 page Shark Bay worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
History and Geography of Shark Bay
- Around 22,000 years ago, the area that is now Shark Bay was once composed of very dry land. Between 14,000 and 16,000 years later, the area flooded due to rising sea levels.
- The area’s first inhabitants were recorded as Australian Aboriginals.
- Dirk Hartog, a Dutch sailor and explorer, stumbled upon the area during an expedition in 1616.
- On August 7th 1669, William Dampier named the area “Shark Bay” because of the abundance of tasty shark that could be found and eaten in the area.
- Shark Bay received World Heritage status in 1991.
- Approximately 70% of the site is composed of marine waters.
- There are many protected areas and conservation reserves in the area.
- There are fewer than 1,000 people living in Shark Bay who take up less than 1% of its total area.
- Shark Bay has many peninsulas and islands with about 1,500 km of coastline covered with beautiful limestone cliffs and small, charming islands.
- Shark Bay is located among three major climatic regions in Australia.
- Some of the islands in Shark Bay are home to near-extinct mammals such as the Shark Bay mouse and the banded and rufous hare-wallaby.
Flora in Shark Bay
- Shark Bay has an abundance of seagrass which covers more than 1.2 million acres of the bay, and includes the largest number of seagrass species in the world.
- Twelve species of seagrass have been found in the bay.
- These seagrass beds have raised the sea floor, which has led to the bay becoming more shallow. They have provided shelter and a consistent food supply to the many marine species that live there.
- Because Shark Bay has a hot and dry climate, and any rain that it gets evaporates quickly, the water in the shallow bays has a very high concentration of salt, making it almost twice as salty than the other ocean waters that surround it.
- Stromatolites, known to be one of the earliest signs of life on Earth, are very popular in Shark Bay, and were discovered there in 1956.
- The stromatolite living in Hamelin Pool, located in the Eastern area of Shark Bay, are among the most diverse and abundant examples of stromatolites in the world.
- You can only access Shark Bay via the Shark Bay Airport.
Fauna in Shark Bay
- Shark Bay is home to around 10,000 dugongs, which are also referred to as “sea cows” due to their resemblance to the now extinct “Steller’s sea cow”.
- About 12.5% of the world’s population of dugongs live in Shark Bay.
- Other mammals that live in Shark Bay include bottlenose dolphins, humpback whales, green and logger- head sea turtles, and the whale shark, among several others.
- Shark Bay is home to 26 threatened Australian mammal species and serves as a breeding and nursery area for fish, lobsters, crabs, and other crustaceans.
- Shark Bay has over 323 fish species including Coral Trout, Grass Emperor, Golden and Giant Trevally, the Dusky Flathead, (seen to the right), and many more.
- The whale shark uses Shark Bay as a migratory post during the April and May full moons.
Fun Facts about Shark Bay
- The Hamelin Pool Marine Nature Reserve has a boardwalk for tourists to walk out on to explore the stromatolites and is the only place where the general public can do this due to the delicate nature of the Hamelin Pool.
- Bernier Island, located in the Northwest area of Shark Bay, once served as a hospital location at the turn of the 20th century.
- Monkey Mia, located centrally in Shark Bay, serves as a great location for biological research on bottlenose dolphins.
Shark Bay Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the world heritage site Shark Bay across 22 wonderful pages. These are ready-to-use Shark Bay worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about this famous site brimming with islands, peninsulas, seagrass beds, and rich marine life. These worksheets are cross-curricular and can be used in Social Studies as well in English Language Arts.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Shark Bay Facts.
- Activities in the Bay
- Shark Bay Wordsearch.
- About the Islands.
- Acrostic Poem.
- The Islands of Shark Bay.
- Compare the Explorers.
- Sketch a Stromatolite.
- Shark Bay Crossword.
- Publicity Video Project.
- Shark Bay Creature Match.
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Link will appear as Shark Bay Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, March 8, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.