Sharks are predators that live in all of the world’s oceans. They have been around since before the time of the dinosaurs! They are excellent hunters, but they come in all shapes and sizes, so some sharks eat small fish or even miniscule plankton, while others catch enormous animals like seals, squids, sea birds, or sea turtles. Their senses are some of the reasons they are such good hunters. Their sense of smell is 10,000 times better than a human’s! They can smell the tiniest amount of blood in the water. Sharks also have incredible hearing, and can even feel other animals moving nearby. But even though sharks are amazing predators, humans are even better. Humans kill hundreds of thousands of sharks every year, and many are now endangered species.
- Shark sizes range from the dwarf lantern shark (8 inches long) to the whale shark (40 feet long).
- The first sharks appeared in the seas 400 million years ago!
- The Megalodon was a prehistoric shark that was about twice as long as the Great White that exists today. Its jaws measured about 6 feet across!
- Sharks constantly lose their teeth. When the front ones wear out, they are replaced by new ones growing in another row behind.
- Many bottom-dwelling sharks use camouflage to help them blend in with their surroundings. They have blotches, spots, or stripes that make them difficult to see on the seabed.