Sharks By: Sam Breazeale

Great White Sharks prefer to live in cooler waters. Great White Sharks weigh an average of 1,500-2,400 pounds. Female Great White Sharks are much larger than the males. In a single year, Great White Sharks eat an average of eleven tons of food. Great White Sharks like to hunt first thing in the morning. Great White Sharks are often attacked by Killer Whales. Great White Sharks can go months without eating.

Whale Sharks are the world's biggest fish. Whale Sharks can live up to 100 years old. The average lifespan of a shark is twenty five years old. Sharks are commonly found at 2,000 meters.

In Greenland, there is a shark that eats polar bears and can live up to 200 years old. Female Greenland Sharks reach maturity at 150 years old.

Sharks are sensitive to light and can detect certain objects in murky water. All sharks depend on their senses to survive. Sharks can sense electric magnetic fields. Smell is a shark's most acute sense. Sharks have more than five senses because they have to survive in a challenging environment. Sharks have a 360 degree view because of their eye placement. Some sharks have what is called a nictitating membrane that closes their eyes to protect them when they bite their prey.

Sharks have been in our oceans for over 400 million years. Sharks have survived five mass extinctions. There are more than 465 known species of sharks living in our oceans today. Sharks are among the oldest living things.

Sharks have a different anatomical structure than other fish. Sharks belong to a family of fish that have skeletons made of cartilage. The jaw of sharks is actually not attached to their skull. Some sharks have strong cheek muscles to store water. Sharks are at the top of the marine food chain. Sharks belong to a family of fish known as Elasmobranchii.

There are many different types of sharks. Examples are Tiger Shark, Bull Shark, Whale Shark, Great White Shark, and Mako Shark. The largest shark to exist is Megalodon. The smallest shark is the Dwarf Lantern Shark and the Pygmy Shark. People are sharks most deadliest predator. Only a few species of sharks are known to attack humans.

Sharks mature slowly and reach reproductive age anywhere from twelve to fifteen years old. Some sharks migrate over great distances to feed and breed . Shark's livers contain oils which helps keep their balance in water. Sharks almost never get sick, and until recently, they were thought to be immune to cancer.

Shark skin is made up of a series of scales. The upper side of the shark is dark and the bottom is light. Many sharks must keep moving to breathe to keep water moving past their gill slits. Sharks have five to seven gills on the sides of their heads. The majority of sharks have eight rigid fins.

Most shark species are carnivorous, but some are vegetarian. The diet of sharks is varied. Only some sharks eat plankton and will not eat meat. Sharks don't actually chew their prey but tear it up into chunks and swallow it. They can grow a new set of teeth in eight days, and have an average of 30,000 teeth over the course of their life.

The reproduction of sharks is one of the most complex of the animal kingdom. Some shark species moms can be pregnant up to two years. Sharks that are not even born yet will eat their sibling's eggs while in the womb.

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