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Ready, Set, SCIENCE!, by the National Research Council, focuses on K-8 science classsrooms. Check out the other publications in our online store, as well as classroom materials.
This shark is looking for its next meal.
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Windows Original, adapted from Corel Photography

Sharks

When someone hears the word "shark", they usually think of a mean, scarry monster that eats everything it sees. The movie Jaws helped create this fear. But in real life, sharks aren't so mean. Actually, they are usually more scared of us than we are of them!

The great white shark is probably the most famous of all the species. The great white can grow over 25 feet long! It's a good thing humans aren't the great white's favorite meal. Instead, they enjoy sea lions and other sea life. There are not very many great white sharks alive today.

A more common shark is the blue shark. It is much smaller in length and not as fierce as the great white. Blue sharks can be found all over the world, and are often seen near the surface.

The nurse shark is a lesser known species. It is very lazy, and is usually found on the ocean floor. The nurse shark grows to about 8 feet in length, and preys on shellfish. The horn shark is similar to the nurse. It is very timid, and doesn't grow longer than 4 feet. It hides under rocks during the day and comes out at night to feed on fish and crustaceans.

Finally, the largest shark and fish in the world is the giant whale shark. The whale shark can grow over 40 feet long! But don't let its size scare you. The whale shark only eats plankton, which are small organisms floating in the water.


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The Spring 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist, focuses on the ocean, including articles on polar research, coral reefs, ocean acidification, and climate. Includes a gorgeous full color poster!

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