Shark facts for kids
Sharks are really fascinating animals, because they are strong and powerful, and they have existed on our planet for a very long time: more than 450 million years ago. However, over time they have evolved, that is, they have changed to adapt to the environment. Thus, sharks as we now know them appeared 100 million years ago.
The first thing we should know about sharks is that they are fish, therefore, they have gills that allow them to breathe under water and if they leave it they die asphyxiated. In addition, it is a myth that the animals that attack more humans, since they feed mainly on fish, algae, crabs and shrimp, although some can also eat seals.
To hunt, they use their strong jaws, which have 26 teeth in triangular form in the upper part and 24 pointed ones in the lower part. Depending on the type of shark, it can have 5 to 15 rows of teeth, since they fall easily and must be replaced by others, so those rows remain full of teeth ready to be used.
Types of sharks
There are several types of sharks, some are very large, while others are quite small – the smallest are 15 centimeters tall; But do not be fooled, because some sharks, although huge, are harmless.
In the world there are more than 360 species or types of sharks, classified into eight different groups, according to their similar characteristics. Some of the best-known species of sharks are:
– Great white shark. It lives in warm and temperate waters of almost all the oceans of the world. Its body is large and robust, measuring 4 to 7 meters. Unlike what is believed, they are not man-eaters.
– Tiger shark. It receives this name because it has a series of dark stripes on its body, which is gray or blue-green. It has large, sharp and hooked teeth.
– Whale shark. It is the largest fish in the world, since it measures 12 meters long. It feeds on algae, microorganisms, crabs, squid and small fish.
– Hammerhead shark. This shark is easy to identify by its head in the form of a hammer or a letter T, with one eye at each end. When you swim, move your head from side to side to be able to look at everything that is around you.
– Gray shark. As the name implies, it is gray. They measure up to two and a half meters. This species of shark is more active at night than in the day.
– Shark Cat. His elongated eyes are similar to those of cats. These sharks are small, they measure between 60 and 70 centimeters.
– Angel shark. This type of sharks is very easy to distinguish, because its body is flat, similar to a stingray. It usually does not attack people, unless they are disturbed or get too close to their young.
– Crocodile shark. It has an elongated body, very large eyes and small fins. It lives in very deep waters, but at night it swims towards shallower waters to eat small fish, squid and shrimp.
Curious facts about sharks
– Sharks can lose up to a thousand teeth in a year and all are replaced.
– In addition to having good hearing and smell, sharks use electric currents to orient themselves in the ocean.
– The skeleton of these animals is not made up of bone, but by cartilage -like your ears-, which is softer and more flexible, which helps them swim faster.
– The skin of female sharks is twice as thick as the skin of males.
– The dogfish shark can live between 70 and 100 years.
– The mouth of the whale shark can measure up to two meters wide, bigger than an adult lying down!