Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate April 2001

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Sharks Sharks are very interesting animals. Shark behavior is highly unpredictable. Considering the number of scuba divers, swimmers, and water skiers who now go into shark infested waters, relatively few shark attacks on humans occur. Ten percent of shark species will attack humans. Among the sharks, the most dangerous to humans are the great white shark, the hammerhead shark, the tiger shark, and the blue shark.

Most sharks breed during the spring. Most are mammals, but some lay eggs. At birth, young sharks, of some larger species, are more than 3 feet long. Also, when born, the young are swift, capable swimmers that feed on the same prey as adults. The young are frequently born in protected inshore areas away from the males. Sharks commonly fast for long periods during the breeding season.

One of the more interesting sharks is the basking shark. The basking shark feeds on plankton.

They open their jaws and barrel through clouds of the tiny sea creatures. Bristle-like rakers near the shark's gills filter out the tiny creatures. Although basking sharks need 1.4 grams of food per cubic meter, they get by quite fin consuming less than half the prey they usually eat. Basking sharks in the English Channel routinely ate until food patches thinned out to 0.5 to 0.6 g/m3.

Sharks are very diverse in behavior and size. The whale shark is the largest shark measuring up to 49 feet in length. The cookie-cutter shark measures less than 19 inches in length. The basking shark measures to about 40 feet. A good sized shark measures 15 feet long. The larger sharks are nearly impossible to keep in captivity because they refuse to consume food in the holding tanks.

I think that sharks are very interesting animals. This is the reason I chose to write my report on them. Many people don't find sharks as fascinating as I do. I will tell you that they are much more interesting than any other animal I know. They have a lot of neat and interesting facts about them that I was glad to learn about.