Sharks have adapted to their marine environments in a number of ways, including the development of sophisticated gills, allowing them to remain underwater without having to come up for air, and a streamlined body with fins, enabling rapid and efficient movement beneath the waves. They are also well adapted as predators, with many razor sharp teeth that grow back almost instantaneously when lost.Know More
Sharks' skin is also particularly tough, protected by an array of sharp and continually replenished scales known as dermal denticles. In addition to offering sharks protection, their skin also facilitates rapid and stealthy movement through the water.
Sharks' jaws are not attached to their skulls via bone, an adaptation which allows sharks to push their jaws out from their heads in order to suck in prey.
Sharks are also highly specialized for sensory perception, able to detect the electrical signals of their prey with organs known as ampullae of Lorenzini. They can also track prey by using the highly sensitive vibration detectors running the length of their bodies.
Great white sharks are known for their white bellies, contrasted by their dark backs. Known as "countershading," this adaptation serves as camouflage, making it hard for other fish to differentiate the sharks from sunlight when below, or the seabed when above.Learn more about Sharks
Numerous sharks have been spotted within 200 yards of the shore. This is not necessarily cause for alarm. Most sharks are not interested in attacking humans, and a few simple safety rules will greatly reduce the chance of an attack.Full Answer >
Great white sharks reproduce via internal fertilization, and fertilized eggs are retained in the body until a short while after hatching in a 12-month gestation, after which the young are born live. Prior to birth, the young may eat unfertilized eggs and smaller unborn sharks in the womb. Newborn great white sharks receive no parental care, and swim away immediately after birth.Full Answer >
A dichotomous key for sharks may include body shape, presence of a pelvic fin, number of gill slits or dorsal fins, mouth position, head shape, length of dorsal fin or caudal fin, presence of an anal fin, hornlike appendages near the head and special markings on body. Each dichotomous key differs depending on the species of sharks included.Full 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.Full Answer >