Q:

How big are sharks?

A:

Quick Answer

The size of a shark depends on its species. The largest living shark, the whale shark, averages 31.82 feet long. The extinct megalodon was even bigger at about 60 feet long. The smallest shark is the dwarf lanternshark, which is only 6.7 inches long.

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Full Answer

There are over 470 species of living sharks. Their primary habitat is the oceans, though bull sharks and river sharks can live in fresh water. Most sharks are carnivorous, but some species feed on plankton. Some shark species hunt in packs and feed cooperatively. Sharks are capable of learning and have been observed investigating novel objects and engaging in play.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are sharks afraid of?

    A:

    Sharks are afraid of dolphins when outnumbered because they like to eat animals that are much smaller than them, including baby dolphins, but adult dolphins will protect their young by trying to kill a shark any time they see one. Dolphins are usually successful at killing the sharks that they find because they attack in groups, ramming their bodies into the shark until it dies.

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  • Q:

    How do sharks communicate?

    A:

    Different sharks communicate within their own species in different ways; for example, the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History reports that great white sharks can communicate with each other by gaping their jaws while the University of Michigan says that gray reef sharks communicate using their senses of sight and touch. In general, sharks are not believed to have linguistic communication abilities, relying instead on other senses to communicate.

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  • Q:

    What would happen if sharks became extinct?

    A:

    If sharks became extinct, there would be ecological repercussions, such as small animal extinction, algae overgrowth and coral reef death. Sharks are a crucial part of the marine ecosystem and are necessary for the world's oceans to operate.

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  • Q:

    How often do sharks reproduce?

    A:

    Shark reproduction varies from once each year to at irregular intervals several years apart. Mating also varies among species, from those that mate year-round to those that prefer certain seasons and regions, often affected by migration.

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