Sharks are one of the oldest animal species on earth having outlived the dinosaurs with fossil records dating them back 400 million years. Most sharks live in saltwater environments, although two species can survive in freshwater and saltwater. In their ecosystems, the carnivorous shark is usually the top of their food chain, but are being threatened by human activities and hunting. The largest fish in the world is the whale shark, capable of growing to 40 feet (12.2 m) in length. Sharks have multiple rows of teeth that are embedded in their gums instead of their jaws, and are constantly losing and replacing their teeth—sharks can lose and replace up to 30,000 teeth in their lifetime.

How many bones do sharks have?

Sharks do not have any bones in their bodies, as their skeleton system is made up of cartilage and connective tissue. This classifies them as Chondrichthyes fish. Cartilage is flexible and has about half of the normal density found in bones.

What do sharks eat?

The diet of a shark varies from shark to shark depending on the species, habitat, and available prey. There are over 400 species of sharks. Most sharks are carnivorous and predators, while some are planktivorous. Sharks aren’t picky and are able to adjust their diet to what is available in order to survive.


How do sharks sleep?

It is not known if sharks are able to sleep, but they do seem to have periods of rest. Sharks need to keep water moving over their gills to receive oxygen. Some sharks need to keep moving all the times to keep water over their gills, while others have spiracles, an opening behind each eye, that allows them to breath while they are still.

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Sharks

Great White Shark
Dimensioned size comparison drawing of a Great White Shark compared to the size of an average human scuba diver

The Great White Shark is a large mackerel shark that is found in coastal surface waters of all the major oceans. The species is also referred to as the great white, white shark, or white pointer for its notable size. Other distinguishing characteristics include its robust, large, conical snout, rows of serrated teeth behind the main ones, and large eyes with deep blue irises. Further, it displays countershading by having a white underside and grey dorsal area. The great white shark has no natural predators and it is responsible for more recorded human bite incidents than any other shark.

The typical female Great White Shark has an overall length of 15’-21’ (4.57-6.40 m), with males at lengths of 11’-13’ (3.35-3.96 m). An average Great White Shark weighs between 1500-2400 lb (680-1090 kg) and has a typical lifespan of 30-70 years.

Pair of drawings of a Great White Shark as seen from the front and the top views
The Great White Shark is a large mackerel shark that is found in coastal surface waters of all the major oceans. The Great White Shark species is notable for its size and has no natural predators. It is responsible for more recorded human bite incidents than any other shark.

The typical female Great White Shark has an overall length of 15’-21’ (4.57-6.40 m), with males at lengths of 11’-13’ (3.35-3.96 m). An average Great White Shark weighs between 1500-2400 lb (680-1090 kg) and has a typical lifespan of 30-70 years.

Pair of drawings of a Great White Shark as seen from the front and the top views
Great White Shark
Height:
Width:
Length:
11’-13’ | 3.35-3.96 m (Male); 15’-21’ | 4.57-6.40 m (Female)
Depth:
Weight:
1500-2400 lb | 680-1090 kg
Area:
Speed
35 mph | 56 km/h
Scientific Name
Carcharodon carcharias
Lifespan
30-70 years

Drawings include:
Great White Shark side elevation, side (scuba diver), front, plan

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