Sharks are a group of fish characterized by a cartilaginous skeleton, five to seven gill slits on the sides of the head, and pectoral fins that are not fused to the head.There are people who won’t even step foot in the ocean for fear of being eaten alive by a shark. But who would disagree.
A shark is the perfect destroying machine. It’s enormous in size and it’s razor sharp teeth make it one of the most feared creatures by man. But are sharks really vicious man-killer’s we have labeled them? Or have we made sharks to be more terrifying then they actually are. through centuries of exaggerated stories? Sharks are mainly marine fish found in all seas and are especially abundant in tropical and subtropical waters. Many types migrate up rivers.
Sharks are best known as aggressive carnivores that even attack members of their own species. Two of the largest sharks-the basking shark and the whale shark-feed on plankton, which they strain from the water with gill rakers. Altogether sharks are very different from other animals because they all have unique physical characteristics, mating habits, and feeding habits. Most sharks are gray in color and have leathery skin covered with small, sharp, pointed scales, which, unlike those of bony fish, do not enlarge during the animals growth. Usually five gills slits lie behind the head. The tail is asymmetrical, with the backbone extended into the upper lobe. Many species have rows of sharp teeth embedded in fibrous membranes instead of in the jawbones. When the sharks teeth are lost in their prey, other teeth quickly shift into position to replace the teeth that they lost.
Sharks do not have a single bone in their bodies. Instead they have a skeleton made up of cartilage; the same type of tough, flexible tissue that makes up human ears and noses.
Some sharks remain on the move for their entire lives. This forces water over their gills, delivering oxygen to the blood stream. If the shark stops moving then it will suffocate and die.
Sharks have outstanding hearing. They can hear a fish thrashing in the water from as far as 500 metres away!
If a shark was put into a large swimming pool, it would be able to smell a single drop of blood in the water.
Although most species of shark are less than one metre long, there are some species such as the whale shark, which can be 14 metres long.
A pup (baby shark) is born ready to take care of itself. The mother shark leaves the pup to fend for itself and the pup usually makes a fast get away before the mother tries to eat it!
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