Animal Class >> Carnivores

Sharks

Sharks are big fishes with streamlines body and cartilaginous skeleton. Their skeletons are made from rubbery cartilage, which is very light and flexible. They have 5-7 gill slits which help them in respiration. Their size ranges from 22centimetres to 12 metres. They feed on plankton through filter feeding. They have a covering of dermal denticles to protect their skin from damage and parasites and to improve fluid dynamics. They also have replaceable teeth, some of the sharks teeth's are replaced every 8-10 days while other could last several months. The lower teeth are primarily used for holding prey, while the upper ones are used for cutting into it. The teeth range from thin, needle-like teeth for gripping fish to large, flat teeth adapted for crushing shellfish. Speed and acceleration depends upon the shape of their tail.

Facts about Sharks

  1. At birth the baby shark is about 5 feet (1.5 meters) long already; as it grows it may reach a length three times that.
  2. It is impossible to out-swim a shark - sharks reach speeds of 70 km/h (44 mph). Humans can run about 35 km/h (21 mph).
  3. Sharks and rays also share the same kind of skin: instead of scales, they have small tooth-like spikes called denticles. The spikes are so sharp that shark skin has long been used as sandpaper.
  4. Sharks are immune to all known diseases.
  5. The pup (which is what a baby shark is called) will live its life at the top of the ocean's food chain. As the largest predatory fish in the ocean, great white sharks are the top predators of the sea. But before it grows larger, the pup must avoid predators bigger than it is-including other great white sharks.
  6. Many baby sharks do not survive their first year.
  7. Young great white sharks eat fish (including other sharks) and rays. As it grows, the shark's favorite prey becomes sea mammals, especially sea lions and seals.
  8. Sharks count on the element of surprise as they hunt. When they see a seal at the surface of the water, sharks will often position themselves underneath the seal. Then they swim upward at a fast sprint, bursting out of the water in a leap called a breach, and falling back into the water with the seal in their mouths.
  9. Sharks don't chew their food; they rip off chunks of meat and swallow them whole. After eating a seal or a sea lion the great white shark can last a month or two without another big meal.
  10. Female great white sharks usually bear their first young when they are 12 to 14 years old. And if the pups survive their youth, they, too, become predators at the top of the food chain.

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