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Best Shark Diving in the World: Costa Rica
AquaSportsInc - 10/19/2007 4:41 PM
Category: Travel
Replies: 0

Costa Rica is the ultimate Latin American diving escape. It’s a small, stable and peaceful country with one of the most well preserved natural marine habitats on earth - Cocos Island. Located 300 miles South, Southwest of Costa Rica, Cocos Island is a staggeringly wonderful example of biodiversity. The largest uninhabited island in the whole world, Cocos is an underwater wonderland and a fully protected National Park. Considered a “must dive” location, the trip is best planned for sometime between May and October and it requires divers to spend their time out of the water on a live-aboard. It’s thought well worth any trouble, though, and select divers with professional escorts spend quality time exploring a labyrinth of coral reef and marveling at the phenomenon of schooling hammerhead sharks. These sharks are an interesting breed because the location of their sensory organs is widespread, which acts much like the antennae on an insect when it comes to searching for food or a mate. As it does for insects, this allows hammerhead sharks a wider range when they are looking for something. This means they can pinpoint their targets with even more specificity than other sharks. Interestingly enough, the hammerhead also has internalized fertilization, meaning that the female carries the babies inside in her body, with a placenta and umbilical cord, and gestates much like mammals do--although at a period of 10 to 12 months, the gestation is slightly longer than humans. And, unlike most humans, hammerhead sharks leave their pups to fend for themselves after delivery and they mate only once a year, each litter resulting in roughly 20 to 40 shark pups. The hammerhead shark is a timid and elusive creature, usually avoiding human contact. In fact, it was long thought that the hammerhead shark was a solitary recluse. Only over the past ten or so years have we learned that the hammerhead shark is a highly social fish, sometimes traveling thousands of miles to join large schools of its own kind. These giant congregations of hammerhead sharks are truly a spectacle to behold. There are few places on earth where this site can be viewed, and Cocos Island is the best!