Sharks: Killers Or Just Misunderstood? | Teen Ink

Sharks: Killers Or Just Misunderstood? MAG

By Unknown, Unknown, Unknown

   Bloodthirsty, ruthless, killer: shark. For years people have feared and slaughtered sharks because of the bad rap they have received from Hollywood, but these beliefs are not justified.

Sharks are not vicious and are actually quite gentle. Of the more than 388 species of sharks only two (the Great White and the Tiger) have been known to attack man and then only because of mistaken identity. Wetsuits and surfboards used by surfers are mistaken by sharks as the thick, rubbery, skin of seals, which are their main diet. Once the shark bites the surfer, it almost immediately lets go because it does not taste like its favorite meal.

Not all big sharks have huge jaws full of teeth, as many people believe. Whale sharks, the largest fish in the world, are the most affable creatures you will encounter in our world's oceans. These sharks (that can weigh over three thousand pounds and grow up to five stories in length) have no teeth at all. Instead they have a mouth full of baleen that they use to filter plankton and tiny fish out the hundreds of gallons of sea water that passes through their monstrous mouths at one time. These peaceful giants have been known to let divers ride on their backs and don't show any aggression when approached.

People should treat sharks with respect, as they should all earth's creatures. The only way for future generations to learn to appreciate these magnificent creatures (instead of fear them) is through education. This can be accomplished through programs which highlight the good points about sharks, instead of the myths surrounding them. Another way is to make ocean research available to all people - everyone should have the chance to learn the truth about sharks. ^

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This article has 8 comments.

Leasie said...
on Mar. 26 at 10:04 am
Leasie, Dallastown, Other
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
So much detail!!!!!

on Mar. 25 at 3:07 pm
Tommieboy5150, Pennsalvania, Pennsylvania
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
im stupid wfetsxhu.zswgvfxisawlurgbfx/zn.lohk bsxd,khwbrsfkhszkbhs

on Jan. 9 at 1:47 pm
RedskinsfanKiran, Reston, Virginia
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
This helped with me so much on my research about on if we should protect sharks from humans or humans from sharks! Thanks!

jacobwh said...
on Jun. 6 2018 at 1:28 pm
jacobwh, Barre, Vermont
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments
hi how are you doing

kittypug said...
on Feb. 12 2018 at 2:11 pm
kittypug, San Diego, California
0 articles 0 photos 21 comments
Reply if you want to save sharks!

kittypug said...
on Feb. 6 2018 at 1:41 pm
kittypug, San Diego, California
0 articles 0 photos 21 comments

i love this so much!

on Mar. 14 2015 at 1:46 pm
HeraldoThompson SILVER, Sarasota, Florida
6 articles 10 photos 7 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I'd rather die while I'm livin' than live while I'm dead."

I do agree with you that sharks are greatly misunderstood creatures, and I'm always happy to see when people understand this concept. Now I don't want to seem arrogant or like a know-it-all, but I want to share with you, a fellow activist, some information. First, you are correct that most sharks have not been known to attack humans, there are several species (such as bull sharks, which have the highest testosterone levels of any animal on the planet, including bull elephants) that have been known to attack humans. You are also correct that most attacks are cases of self-defense and/or mistaken identity, that is absolutely true. Finally, when you mentioned whale sharks, you said they filter plankton through baleen. Whales use baleen to feed on plankton, but large elasmobranchs such as whale sharks, basking sharks, and manta rays use specialized structures called gill rakers that trap the plankton and allow the excess water to move over its gills. Again, I am very happy to see that some people appreciate these majestic creatures, and I hope I was able to inform you a little more so that you can be even more effective in sharing the story about sharks. Great article!

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