Shark Facts for Kids
Did you know that sharks have been around for over 450 million years? That makes them one of the oldest types of animals alive today! Sharks come in all shapes and sizes, from the tiny dwarf lantern shark to the massive whale shark. These amazing predators can be found in oceans all over the world. Did you know that they live to be 20-30 years old? Or that there are more than 1000 different shark species? Here are some fun shark facts for kids.
BONUS: You can download a FREE shark activity packet to have more fun with these cool shark facts at the bottom of the post.
Parts of the Shark
Let’s learn about the parts of a shark. Sharks do not have a single bone in their body. Shark skeletons are made out of cartilage, which is a type of strong, flexible tissue. This makes them lighter and faster in the water than if they had bones.
Sharks also have a special type of shark skin called “dermal denticles” that helps to reduce drag and make them faster in the water. These dermal denticles are actually tiny, tooth-like scales that cover the shark’s entire body.
Sharks have a dorsal fin (the fin on their back) that helps them to swim straight and keep balance in the water. This is the fin that you see stick out of the surface of the water. Some sharks also have a second, smaller dorsal fin called a pectoral fin (the fin on their side). Sharks use their pectoral fins to help them make turns.
Finally, sharks have a tail fin (the caudal fin) that helps them to swim quickly through the water. Some sharks can even swim backward using their tail fin!
How Do Sharks Swim?
As you now know, sharks have a dorsal fin and a tail fin that helps them to swim quickly through the water. But how do they actually swim?
Sharks swim by moving their tails from side to side. This movement propels them through the water. As they swim, sharks often open and close their mouths to help them move through the water.
How Do Sharks Breathe?
Sharks have gills that help them to breathe under water. Water flows into the shark’s mouth and over their gills. The gills filter out oxygen from the water so that the shark can breathe.
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Do Sharks Sleep?
Yes, sharks do sleep! But they don’t sleep like we do. Humans usually go to sleep at night and stay asleep for several hours. Sharks, on the other hand, only sleep for a few seconds at a time.
Scientists believe that sharks have to keep swimming in order to breathe, so they can’t just “fall asleep” like we do. Instead, sharks have to keep swimming even when they’re sleeping.
How Do Sharks Hunt?
Sharks are predators, which means that they hunt and eat other animals. Sharks use their keen sense of smell and their sharp eyesight to help them find prey.
Once a shark finds its prey, it will often swim quickly towards it and then bite it with its sharp teeth. Sharks usually eat fish, but some larger sharks can also eat dolphins, seals, and even other sharks!
Types of Sharks
There are more than 470 different types of shark species! Some of the most popular types of shark include the great white shark, the tiger shark, and the hammerhead shark. Let’s learn more about the different types of sharks.
Whale Shark Facts for Kids
The whale shark is the biggest shark in the world. These gentle giants can grow up to 60 feet long and weigh up to 40 tons! Despite their size, whale sharks are harmless to humans. They filter plankton, krill, and small fish from the water using their huge mouths and gills.
Great White Shark Facts for Kids
The great white shark is one of the best-known deadliest sharks in the world. These massive predators can grow up to 20 feet long and weigh over 5,000 pounds! Great white sharks are found in waters all over the globe. These fearsome predators are known to attack and eat seals, sea lions, dolphins, sea turtles, humans, and even other sharks.
Fun Facts about Tiger Sharks
Tiger sharks are one of the most dangerous sharks in the world. These predators can grow up to 20 feet long and weigh over 1,000 pounds. Tiger sharks are found in tropical and subtropical waters all over the globe. They are known to eat just about anything, including turtles, seabirds, dolphins, and even other sharks.
Hammerhead Shark Facts for Kids
Hammerhead sharks are easily recognizable thanks to their unique shape because their bodies look like hammers! The hammerhead shark’s eyes are located on the sides of its “hammer” head, which gives it 360-degree vision. This means that the hammerhead can see all around at once.
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Bull Shark Facts for Kids
The bull shark is one of the most dangerous sharks in the world. It has one of the most forceful bites! They can use those strong shark teeth in freshwater AND saltwater – they survive in both! It can be a river shark and an ocean shark. The bull shark has been known for its shark attacks in shallow waters too!
Fun Facts about Mako Sharks
The fastest shark species in the world are Makos. This shark swims at speeds of up to 60mph when hunting for food!
Facts about Blue Sharks for Kids
Blue sharks are one of the most beautiful shark species in the world. They get their name from their blue coloring, which helps them blend in with the ocean water. They are very deep swimmers, and though they may be seen by humans only occasionally, they are one of the most widely distributed shark breeds. Female blue sharks have very thick skin because male blue sharks will bite them very aggressively.
Dwarf Lantern Shark Facts for Kids
The smallest shark is the dwarf lantern shark. It is smaller than a human hand. It has only been seen a few times off the northern tip of South America. It is called a “lantern” because its belly lights up to help provide camouflage when the sun hits the water.
Baby Shark Facts for Kids
Did you know that baby sharks are called pups? Most shark species give birth to live young, but some lay eggs. The largest shark egg on record was laid by a whale shark and measured about 12 inches long! That is twice as big as an ostrich egg!
The number of pups or eggs that a shark lays, depends on the different species of sharks. The Great White Shark usually gives birth to two baby sharks but blue sharks can give birth to hundreds of baby sharks at one time!
Female sharks stay pregnant for different lengths of time. The Frill Shark can carry their pups for up to three years!
Sharks are one of the most fascinating creatures in the animal kingdom. They come in all shapes and sizes, and can be found in waters all over the world. Sharks have been swimming through our oceans for millions of years, and they show no signs of disappearing anytime soon. Sharks play an important role in our ocean ecosystems, and we should do our best to protect them.
Download your FREE Shark Activity Packet HERE!
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