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Shark Gifts

Well-known species such as the great white shark, tiger shark, and the hammerhead are apex predators, at the top of the underwater food chain. Their extraordinary skills as predators fascinate and frighten humans, even as their survival is under serious threat from fishing and other human activities.


Sharks are cartilaginous fish. There are more than 350 different kinds of sharks.

Shark Classification:

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Super Order: Selachimorpha

Other Names:

Shark in Foreign Languages:

Albanian: Peshkaqen
Croatian: Morski Pas
Czech: žralok
Danish: Haj
Dutch: Haai
Estonian: Hai
Fijian: Qio
Finnish: Hai
French: Requin
Gaelic: Siorc/ Cearban
German: Hai
Greenlandic: Eqalussuaq
Haitian Creole: Reken
Hungarian: Cápa
Icelandic: Hákarl
Indonesian: Hiu
Italian: Squalo / Pescecane
Latin: Squalus
Latvian: Haizivs
Lithuanian: Ryklys
Luxembourg: Hai, Haifësch
Malay: Ikan Yu / Jerung
Navajo: Lóó' Hashkéhé
Polish: Rekin
Portuguese: Tubarăo
Romanian: Rechin
Roman: Ajkula
Slovakian: žralokovidné
Slovenian: Morski pes
Spanish: Tiburón
Swahili: Papa
Swedish: Haj
Tagalog: Pating
Turkish: Köpek Baligi
Welsh: Morgi


Conservation Status:

Size: The largest shark is the whale shark and it can measure up to 60 feet in length. The smallest species is the deepwater dogfish shark.

Habitat: The habitat of sharks is greatly varied, some species inhabit shallow, coastal regions, others live in deep waters, ocean floors and the open ocean. Some species of sharks will inhabit both both salt and fresh waters.

Description: Shark species are incredibly diverse with very different sizes, shapes, habitats, diets and behaviors. A sharks skin is made up of a series of scales.

Diet: Most sharks are carnivores. Sharks will prey on fish and sea mammals like dolphins, other shark species and seals. Sharks will also prey on turtles and seagulls. However whale sharks, the largest sharks eat plankton.

Communication: Sharks can hear sounds at very low frequencies.

Did You Know?

Sharks have upper and lower eyelids but they do not blink.

Gestation: Sharks will carry their young from five to six months to two years depending on the species.

Birth: More than half of sharks give birth to pups, yet all are still classified as fish. The marjority of sharks give birth to live young, but some sharks release eggs that will hatch later.

Sexually Mature: Many shark species do not reach sexual maturity until they are in their teens.

Life Span: The life span of sharks varies by species, but most sharks live 20-30 years.

Did You Know?

A single shark can produce 20,000 teeth in its lifetime. They lose a tooth every other day.

Shark Gifts




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