Sharks have serrated teeth which means they have rough ridges on them and are not smooth, like ours. This helps them grab onto their food better.
Sharks also have a network of jelly-filled pores around their snout called Ampullae of Lorenzini. These are the electroreceptors responsible for what we refer to as the “sixth sense”, and allow sharks to detect things such as heartbeats!
All sharks have a lateral line, much like fish. This is a canal filled with fluid that runs down both sides of the shark and helps them to detect vibrations nearby.
Shark’s skin is made up of placoid scales which look like teeth under the microscope. These scales help them to be streamlined and swim quickly through the water. They are also the reason why sharks feel like sand paper!
The fastest shark is the mako shark which can swim in short bursts up to 46 mph.
A baby shark (doodoodoodoodoodoo) is called a Pup.
Shark Educational Video with Pinky Plankton
Downloadable worksheets about Sharks
Sharks are being threatened
because people are hunting them for their fins, which are a delicacy in other parts of the world. We lose an estimated 100 million sharks every year due to shark finning.
A shark attack
on a human is very rare because humans are not a prey source for sharks. In 2014, more humans were bitten by New Yorkers than sharks!
Sharks are carnivores, which means they eat only meat. This also makes them predators. Their prey items vary from fish and shrimp all the way up to dolphins and sea lions!
Sharks have countershading which means they are dark on top and light on the bottom. This helps them camouflage. If you are on the bottom of the ocean looking up, the blend in with the light from the sun. If you are on the surface of the water looking down, they will blend in with the dark sea floor.
Sharks have a nicitating membrane, which acts as a third eyelid. This membrane covers the eye when the shark lunges at prey and helps protect the eye from getting scratched.
The Megalodon was the largest shark to ever exist, growing to lengths as long as 60 feet! Our largest shark in existence today is the Great White, which is small in comparison, at only 15-20 feet long.
Sharks have no bones and are made up entirely of cartilage, like what our ears and noses are made of.
Sharks store energy in their livers which are about 3 times larger than a human liver when you compare body to liver ratios. Because of this, they only eat when they are running low on energy. This is a very good reason to not go after humans.
Many times, humans are not worth the waste of energy because we do not have enough meat on us like seals and other marine mammals. The sharks who typically eat fish, will not go after something that is larger than them, which humans are.
Sharks are victims of humans, not the other way around, because we turn them into villains. However, they need our help. Ways you can help: if you are a seafood eater, eat only sustainable seafood.
Overfishing is a top threat to our shark population. Do not buy any shark products such as shark fin soup, shark pup souvenirs, shark liver oil, etc. to help discourage the trade. And of course, don’t litter, and if you see litter on the beach, pick it up and dispose of it properly!
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