I’ve posted several articles about sharks on my blog — originally because of my irrational fear of sharks. When I think of sharks, I usually think of BIG sharks…like the 4,000 lb shark tagged in 1990′s off Santa Cruz county caught in Mexico’s Sea of Cortez.
My older grandson read the Scholastic book Questions and Answers about SHARKS by Ann McGovern, and we learned more! Note: The book is great for readers in Grade 3 to Grade 5.
So…we knew that there were over 370 different types of sharks and about the whale shark — which at 60 feet long is the biggest shark, and the biggest fish in the world.
We didn’t know about the a tiny shark that fits in the palm of your hand. Except:
The Japanese named it tsuranagakobitozame. The word means “the dwarf shark with a long face.”
At about 5 inches long, the tsuranagakobitozame is one tiny shark (with a very long name)!
To learn more about whale sharks (which are listed as Vulnerable” on the IUCN Redlist. because of pressures from unregulated fisheries in China, India and the Philippines), please visit the Georgia Aquarium’s FAQ page, here. The Georgia Aquarium and the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, Japan, are places to see whale sharks on exhibit.
Also visit the The Florida Museum of Natural History’s Ichthyology Department for a great FAQ page on shark basics, here…and if you are curious to know if sharks sleep, if sharks have bones, or how long sharks live.
Did you know….fossil records show that the ancestors of modern sharks swam in our oceans over 400 million years ago? That makes them older than dinosaurs! Turns out that sharks have changed very little over time.