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Sharks can be small or big. The smallest shark is the dwarf lantern shark. It can fit in a human hand. The largest shark is the whale shark. It can be as long as a school bus. This whale shark isn’t attacking the fish around it. Instead, it eats tiny creatures called plankton.

Most fish have scales. Sharks have scales too. But they are tiny. A shark feels smooth from head to tail. But it feels rough from tail to head. When the shark swims, water can rush past it quickly. A shark’s skeleton also helps it swim fast. Most fish have skeletons made of bone. But sharks’ skeletons are made of cartilage. This is the same material that makes the human ear. It is lighter than bone.

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Making Connections


Sharks swim in the ocean. Do you know how to swim? Would you want to learn? Why or why not?


Have you read about other animals that use fins to swim? How are those animals similar to or different from sharks?


Sharks are predators. What other animals are predators?

Teacher Resources

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