SHARKS II

  Let’s take a closer look at some shark species.

  Megalodon – the biggest prehistoric shark. We do not know much about it, not even when or how it became extinct. But all around the world shark teeth of enormous proportions are found. Scientists believe that megalodon was around 18 meters long, some individuals grew even bigger. It bore a resemblance to modern-day great whites and had the most powerful bite in the world so it could crush its prey with ease.

  The Hammerhead shark – this funny looking shark gets its name from the fact that its eyes are placed on the opposite sides of its head, which resembles a hammer. It is one of the species that thrive in warmer tropical waters. It preys on rays, squids, small fish or even other sharks.

  Tiger sharks – named like that for the dark, vertical stripes on their body. Another species that prefers tropical waters. It can reach a length of 7,5 m and a weight of 900 kg. It is a fierce nocturnal hunter, with a diet consisted of dolphins, sea turtles, crustaceans but also birds and garbage found in the water.

  Whale sharks – the biggest fish to swim around. Its average length is 10-12 m but it can reach a length of 18 meters! They have about 3000 very small teeth but they have no use of them because they are what we call ‘a filter feeder’. When a whale shark swims, it opens its mouth very widely and sucks in a great amount of water. Then the water is passed through the gill rakers where the food is trapped. Whale sharks feed mostly on plankton but also small fish and squid. They are slow swimmers – they swim with a speed of 5 km/h and live up to 100-150 years.

  The Great White Shark – probably the most famous of them all!! An expert hunter with powerful jaws and sharp teeth, excellent sense of smell (it can smell blood from kilometers), it has another advantage as well.It is one of the few shark species that can propel itself with the incredible speed of 24 km/h out of the water in order to catch its prey. This apex predator is really efficient; seen from above it blends with the sea floor; it can reach 6,5 m and up to 3 ton!! A very interesting fact is that even in the womb of the mother, the biggest pup can kill and eat its siblings!!!

GALLERY

GLOSSARY

extinct – no longer existing

bear a resemblance – to be similar to

nocturnal – relating to the night

crustaceans – a group of water animals with a body made of segments, covered with a tough shell

gill raker – a bony spine that lies in front of the gills of a fish and prevents solid particles from entering the gills

plankton – small plant or animal drifting in the seas or lakes

apex predator – a predator at the top of the food chain in its habitat

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