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In honor of Shark Week – 13 of My Favorite Sharks
- Basking Sharks: Plankton eaters that can grow up to 33 feet long. Their open mouths are their signature, and they tend to be near the surface of the ocean.
- Smooth Dogfish Sharks: Named because they hunt in packs. They have live births of up to 20 pups per litter, too.
- Oceanic Whitetip Sharks: They’re pelagic sharks that tend to be the main cuplrits at feeding frenzies, as well as shipwrecks and airplane crashes in open ocean.
- Great Hammerhead Sharks: Weighing up to a thousand pounds, they’re known for their distinctive look, but also for their long migrations. Sharks from Florida have been found to migrate all the way to the polar regions.
- Lemon Sharks: They’re named for their color, which helps camouflage them along the sandy ocean bottom. They like the warm water of the Caribbean and the eastern Pacific between Baja California Sur and Ecuador.
- Tiger Sharks: They’re nocturnal, and known for being agressive, and of course they’re striped like the tigers they’re named for, but did you know their stripes fade with age?
- Shortfin Mako Sharks: They’re speedy little fish with big teeth. They’ve been clocked swimming at speeds of up to 43 mph. New research says they share convergent evolution with the tuna fish that are their favorite prey.
- Sand Tiger Sharks: They have really ragged teeth, and tend to swim with their mouths open, so they look a lot meaner than they actually are. Unless you provoke them, they’ll generally leave you alone.
- Blue Sharks: They actually are blue, even ranging into shades of deep indigo. They also have a really large liver that is filled with oil and helps keep them afloat.
- Thresher Sharks: They’re not very social, rarely found near shore, and known for their really big rainbow-arc tails.
- Whale Sharks: The world’s largest fish, they can be up to 50 feet long, but they’re totally gentle plankton eaters.
- Bull Sharks: Not only do they tend to be near shore – they maintian nurseries in mangrove forests – they can actually swim up rivers, and have been found as far upstream as Illinois in the Mississippi River, and populate the Ganges and Brisbane rivers as well.
- Great White Sharks: They are the iconic shark, of course. Technically pelagic, they’re around coastlines because their favorite food is there (seals and sea lions, not people). They tend to be curious and are known to lift their heads above the surface of the water to look around. They also have social interaction, within female-dominated groups.
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