A six-foot-long eellike creature glides through the ocean, 400 feet below the surface. Even farther down, a club-shaped fish called a wobbegong skims the ocean floor, searching for food with its antenna-like feelers. Then there’s the megamouth that looks like a normal fish but has thousands of teeth and luminous organs in its mouth to attract prey.
What do all these creatures have in common? They are all sharks. Half of the 368 species of shark are less than three feet long. Only about seventy species grow to six feet or more. Just fifteen species reach longer than twelve feet, and many of them never come to the surface. Others are harmless to humans.
Great white sharks are one of the ocean’s most difficult creatures to kill. But when you capture them, you must handle them with care in order to keep them alive.
The whale shark is the largest shark—fifty feet in length. It is harmless to humans. The smallest shark is the dwarf dog shark, less than eight inches long!
Sharks keep the oceans healthy by eating weak fish. That prevents disease from spreading and wiping out whole schools of fish. Sharks’ brains are as large as the brains of some mammals, and they can be trained as easily as a house cat.
Among God’s most unusual creations, many shark species live such secret lives that scientists know almost nothing about them. Perhaps God has hidden them for a purpose—the predators of the deepest depths are the only ones humans aren’t hunting to near extinction. Jake Chase