Sharks come in all shapes and sizes, and live nearly everywhere. This diverse group of Fish vary in size from the small Dogfish to the huge Whale Shark. They have adapted to living in freshwater, saltwater, and even the ocean depths. Sharks inhabit all the seas and oceans, even the icy waters around Greenland.
Although Sharks are feared, They often fail to live up to their fearsome reputations. Only a few Sharks attack people. Whale Sharks are plankton feeders, and Leopard Sharks are considered to be docile. However, Sharks are quite good at defending Themselves. Great Whites, Blues, Bulls, and Mako Sharks are the world’s only uncaged predators left. Sharks teach self-defense but also warn that the reputation for ruthlessness may overwhelm others.
Contrary to popular belief, Sharks are not instinctive killing machines. Like everyone else, They learn through experience how to hunt. Sharks are a much maligned Fish. Without them, the ocean would be a cesspool. Sharks eat sick, dying, and dead animals, and Some even help coral reefs to grow. Sharks have survived eons taking care of the earth's seas for everyone's survival.
Take time to read what Individual Shark Teachers have to teach or read what their cousins, the Rays, have to teach.
Conversation Note: Overfishing and shark finning endanger various Shark species. To make shark fin soup, the top fin of the Shark is sliced off. The Shark is thrown back into the sea, to suffocate since She cannot swim without Her fin. This practice endangers many Shark species. Many Sharks are endangered and are protected by various international treaties.
From Conservation International: Preying on Predators: Shark Tagging Data Will Guide Conservation Policy, Efforts. "Contrary to popular belief, sharks are not preying on people as much as people are preying on sharks. Millions are harvested every year, primarily to fill a ravenous craving for shark fin soup." The story describes the plight of sharks endangered by the demand for shark fin soup and the efforts of scientists to learn how to best protect them by shark tagging. There are maps of the sharks' movements, photos, and video. Learn more at:
Conservation International: Oceans
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Purchase children's books about sharks from Amazon.com
This Save The Sharks site
owned by ANIMAL Teachers: Shark Family
Photo of Blue Sharks copyrighted by The National Marine Sanctuary's Photo Gallery