Student Articles‎ > ‎Informative‎ > ‎

Sharks: Predators of the Sea

    Did you know that sharks are one of the most feared animals in the entire world? It’s true! But in all honesty, we kill more sharks than they kill humans. Rapidly, they are being killed and becoming endangered.

    My fascination with sharks started the summer after 7th grade. I had gone surfing for a few days and instantly fell in love with the ocean, including all the creatures in it. For some reason, sharks have been my favorite animal from then on. I think I loved the fact that they are such incredible creatures from the way they swim to how they breed and survive through things humans can’t. They come in so many shapes and sizes that I am just naturally fascinated by them.

    According to Smithsonian, the earliest shark we know about lived about 420 million years ago. It didn’t look like the sharks we see today such as great whites or tiger sharks because it evolved an incredible amount. Some sharks got larger, some smaller. Some of them are more aggressive than others, such as a great white and tiger. Others, such as a nurse shark or a whale shark are pretty timid and calm. One now extinct shark called the Megalodon was so large that its teeth fossils are about 6 inches tall! It was one of the largest creatures we have ever known to exist.

    Sharks nowadays vary in many ways, such as: color, size, shape, and habitats. Often the more aggressive sharks like to live in warmer waters in places such as California, Florida and even Australia. The largest shark around today is the whale shark, which according to Enchanted Learning, can grow to be 48 feet. The whale shark is completely harmless as it eats fish. Many people actually go swimming with the whale shark since they are such gentle and fascinating creatures.

    So… why is it that so many people fear sharks? Well, for many it’s the whole idea that you can’t always see beneath the water surface and you have no idea what could be lurking under your body. Another reason is that a shark isn’t very small, but rather at least the size of the person themself if not larger, which can be tough to survive. Often times if a shark attacks, it actually mistakes a human for a seal. That is why surfers are most common to be attacked, because the wetsuit and the board combined looks like a seal.

    How would you survive a shark attack if one occurred? As a surfer, one thing I have always learned is to always stay calm. That is the number one thing to do in case of amy emergency. Next, one of the best ways is to kick a shark in the nose, eyes, or gills according to National Geographic. Those places are very sensitive on the shark and it will increase your likeliness of survival.

    All-in-all, sharks are pretty fascinating and strong creatures. I highly suggest everyone take time to learn about something you love.