This shark is looking for its next meal.
Click on image for full size
Windows Original, adapted from Corel Photography
For some reason, sharks have the reputation of being the "bad boy" of the
sea. Movies such as Jaws give the impression that sharks are
killing machines, eating everything in their sights. But only a few
species of sharks are actually dangerous to humans.
The great white shark is probably the most famous of all the
species. The great white can grow over 25 feet long!
Fortunately, 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.
So you see, sharks aren't all that scary! There are several more
species, hundreds to be exact! Many are harmless creatures that are more
scared of humans than we are of them!
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
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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