Sharks

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According to PBS, the average life span of a shark is 25 years. Life expectancy can vary among shark species. Sharks tend to live much longer in the wild than in captivity.

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  • Which Bites More People: Sharks or New Yorkers?

    Q: Which Bites More People: Sharks or New Yorkers?

    A: The next time you’re walking down Broadway, consider this: you are ten times more likely to be bitten by a human in New York City than by a shark off the coast of Florida. Surprising as that may seem, statistics have consistently shown that sharks aren’t a major threat to humans. While sharks certainly aren’t harmless, their danger to humans is exaggerated by news stories, B movies like Sharknado and other unfavorable pop culture references.
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  • How Many Teeth Does a Nurse Shark Have?

    Q: How Many Teeth Does a Nurse Shark Have?

    A: The nurse shark has thousands of small notched teeth. The jaws of the nurse shark are powerful and are used to crush hard prey, including shellfish. Fish, shrimp and squid compose the other portions of the nurse shark's diet.
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  • How Long Does a Great White Shark Live?

    Q: How Long Does a Great White Shark Live?

    A: Great white sharks have a lifespan of 30 to over 100 years. At the very beginning, two to 12 baby sharks, or pups, grow inside their mother for a full year before she gives birth. Great whites can be found in all major oceans and are well known for their large size. Some reach lengths of over 20 feet.
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  • What Are the Great White Shark Behavioral Adaptations?

    Q: What Are the Great White Shark Behavioral Adaptations?

    A: To survive, great white sharks have evolved several behavioral adaptations, including flexible activity patterns, migratory habits and social hierarchies. However, great white sharks are also intelligent hunters, and their most important adaptation is their use of different strategies for different prey. Great whites are not commonly kept in captivity; so many aspects of their behavior remain unknown, as it is difficult to study them in the wild.
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  • Is a Shark a Mammal?

    Q: Is a Shark a Mammal?

    A: A shark is not considered a mammal. Sharks are considered members of the paraphyletic group of organisms that contain gills, or in other words, fish.
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  • What Is the Biggest Great White Shark Ever Seen?

    Q: What Is the Biggest Great White Shark Ever Seen?

    A: According to Discovery Communications, the biggest great white shark ever reported was 23 feet long. It was caught off the coast of Malta by Alfredo Cutajar in 1987, however there is still some debate as to if the measurement was accurate or not.
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  • What Is a Baby Shark Called?

    Q: What Is a Baby Shark Called?

    A: A baby shark is referred to as a pup. Sharks are born in three different ways. Sharks lay eggs that then hatch, carry eggs that hatch inside them or grow pups inside them.
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  • What Do Sharks Look Like?

    Q: What Do Sharks Look Like?

    A: There are 465 known species of sharks that display different physical characteristics. Most are identifiable by their darker upper sides that blend with the water above and their white or lighter-colored undersides that blend with the sea below, in addition to their fins, side gill slits and rows of sharp teeth. Shark skeletons are composed of cartilage, a light and flexible tissue.
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  • How Do Sharks Adapt to Their Environment?

    Q: How Do Sharks Adapt to Their Environment?

    A: Sharks are capable of adapting quickly in different environments by adjusting their unique physical features to their surroundings. The shark can adjust its internal temperature to live in a various climates. The shark’s incredibly tough skin provides high defense from the attacks of other predators and the color of their skin gives them camouflage abilities underwater.
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  • How Do You Fight a Shark?

    Q: How Do You Fight a Shark?

    A: If you are attacked by a shark, it is important to fight back and get out of the water as soon as possible, but there are also important tips to learn to avoid a shark encounter. Sharks generally don’t like to eat humans. When sharks bite humans it is usually a “hit and run,” where they bite the human out of curiosity and swim away. This usually happens in shallow water and is rarely lethal.
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  • What Is the Symbiosis Between Remoras and Sharks?

    Q: What Is the Symbiosis Between Remoras and Sharks?

    A: Most scientists classify the relationship between the shark and the remora as a commensalit relationship, because the remora benefits from the transportation and food that the shark provides, while the shark does not seem to be harmed. However, there are some scientists who believe that the remora are irritating to sharks, and others who believe the relationship is symbiotic.
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  • Where Do Hammerhead Sharks Live?

    Q: Where Do Hammerhead Sharks Live?

    A: The hammerhead shark is found worldwide in tropical and warm coastal waters and near continental shelves. They may also be found in the adjacent coral reefs, lagoons and surrounding deep waters.
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  • How Fast Can a Great White Shark Swim?

    Q: How Fast Can a Great White Shark Swim?

    A: Because of its highly streamlined shape and powerful swimming muscles, a great white shark can swim up to 35 miles per hour in short bursts. In addition to its ability to swim in short bursts, a great white can also move at a steady cruising speed. Scientists recorded one great white that swam a total of 12,400 miles in nine months, an average of 45 miles each day.
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  • What Is the Fastest Shark in the World?

    Q: What Is the Fastest Shark in the World?

    A: Of the 400 or so shark species on the planet, the shortfin mako shark is thought to be the fastest, capable of swimming at speeds from 22 to 60 miles per hour. Makos are aggressive, however attacks on humans are rare because the species usually stays in the open ocean.
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  • How Long Is a Great White Shark?

    Q: How Long Is a Great White Shark?

    A: An adult great white shark reaches an average of 15 feet in length. However, several great whites exceeding 20 feet and 5,000 pounds have been recorded, making the species the largest predatory fish on the planet.
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  • Do Sharks Eat Dolphins?

    Q: Do Sharks Eat Dolphins?

    A: Sharks eat dolphins. Because dolphins form protective circles around the weakest members of their pods and mount attacks against any threats, only the largest sharks attempt to eat dolphins.
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  • Can Sharks Live in Freshwater?

    Q: Can Sharks Live in Freshwater?

    A: Most sharks are not physiologically capable of living in freshwater, although the bull shark is an exception. In order to live in freshwater, the body of water would need to be wide and deep enough to accommodate the shark, and it would have to be connected to the ocean for the shark to get there in the first place.
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  • What Does the Great White Shark Eat?

    Q: What Does the Great White Shark Eat?

    A: Great white sharks eat mainly seals and sea lions. They also eat other types of fish and even sea turtles. Seals are a good source for great white sharks due to their large body fat ratios.
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  • What Do Great White Sharks Eat?

    Q: What Do Great White Sharks Eat?

    A: Great white sharks are carnivores that eat seabirds, sea turtles, fish, squid, certain cetaceans (such as dolphins, porpoises and whales), and especially sea lions and seals. Great whites are occasionally observed eating the carcasses of dead whales.
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  • What Eats a Shark?

    Q: What Eats a Shark?

    A: Though sharks are considered apex predators, they are often eaten by humans and are sometimes eaten by killer whales. Shark embryos from different fathers will also eat each other in utero, with the largest embryo of the bunch usually winning out.
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  • How Big Is a Newborn Shark?

    Q: How Big Is a Newborn Shark?

    A: Newborn shark sizes vary by shark species; for example, a newborn great white is typically about 4 feet long, while blacktip reef shark newborns are considerably smaller, usually more than 20 inches in length. Whale sharks, which are quite large in adulthood, give birth to live pups rather than laying eggs, and these newborn pups are typically about a foot and a half long, or 21 to 25 inches in length. Growth rates subsequent to birth may also vary by species.
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