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Sharks of the Oceans

BY POPULAR DEMAND  FOR THE YOUNGER READER



 
  • There are about 350 species of sharks that live in all of the oceans of planet Earth. 
  • Sharks vary in size from the massive Whale Shark, that grows to a length of  13 metres or more and weighs up to 15 tonnes, to the small Dwarf Shark that only reaches 25 cm in length. 
  • Only a few sharks are dangerous enough to be a threat to humans. These include the Great White Shark, the Tiger Shark and the Hammerhead Sharks of tropical seas. 
  • Most sharks are smaller and eat small fish and crabs.
  • The huge Whale Sharks and Basking Sharks eat massive quantities of very small animals called copepods. They swim slowly along a gulp up huge quantities of seawater that contains these small animals.
  • Some small sharks called Dogfish and Spurdog and are caught for food which is called Huss in the fish and chip shops of Britain.
  • The skeleton of sharks consists mainly of cartilage and not true bone which is found in humans and most fishes.
  • Sharks have lived in the oceans for millions of years, first appearing 150 million years ago (when dinosaurs ruled the world).
  • Sharks have an electrical sense system for detecting prey. 



At least 21 species of sharks have been recorded in British coastal waters. In addition at least 12 species of Skates and Rays, one species of Stingray and 2 species of Electric Rays also live in the shallow seas surrounding Britain. Other species occur in deeper water. 

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It is not the policy of the British Marine Life Study Society to publish information that is easily available elsewhere. However, the information on this page has been included because of public demand by the younger fish watchers.
 
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