Shark Reviews

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Shark Reviews

Emily Chen, Staff Writer

Despite being portrayed as dangerous in media, sharks are actually intelligent, quirky, and oddly charming creatures. I have reviewed a few species of sharks and rated them on a scale of one to ten: one being “kinda neat” and ten being “awesome!”

The whale shark is the largest species of fish in the world. It is navy blue with white speckles, can grow up to 40 feet long, and is equipped with a 5-foot wide mouth for engulfing prey. Surprisingly, it only eats tiny organisms like plankton, crustaceans, and the occasional small fish. This gentle giant scores 9/10: +2 for its size, +3 for its gracefulness, and +4 for not being able to eat me.

Although the great white shark isn’t the biggest shark in the sea, it’s the largest predatory one. While it can eat me, it probably wouldn’t. Only five to ten great white attacks occur each year, and researchers suspect that the sharks are just curious, not hunting. The great white gets 10/10: -2 for having a ridiculous amount of teeth (about 300), +5 for being able to leap an impressive ten feet out of the water, and +5 as a public apology for thinking it was more dangerous than it is.

While large sharks are awesome, smaller species deserve just as much attention. The epaulette shark is about two feet long. It lives in coastal reefs and hunts for food in shallow water or tide pools. This shark gets 8/10: +10 for the ability to crawl on land using its fins, and -2 for having polka dots, which went out of fashion in the 1960s.

Another small, coast-dwelling shark is the leopard shark. It hunts by burying its face in the sand and sucking out hidden fish, worms, and crustaceans. The leopard shark earns 6/10: +4 for somehow not swallowing sand all the time, +3 for not actually having leopard print, which wouldn’t look great on an animal that’s not a leopard, and -1 for having a misleading name.

In contrast to the sharks previously mentioned, some sharks don’t care for modern beauty standards. The goblin shark has a long, horn-like nose and light pink skin. Junior Anica Cao remarked, “It’s the unicorn shark of the sea!” It gets 7/10: +10 for being able to detach its jaw to grab out-of-reach prey and -3 for being too slow to just swim to it.

A similarly goofy looking shark is the hammerhead. The hammerhead shark’s head might look silly, but it is actually the key to its hunting strategy. Its wide-set eyes help it scan more of the seafloor for prey, and its broad head is especially useful for pinning stingrays to the ground before eating them. This shark deserves 8/10: +4 for being able to sense prey using electrical signals and +4 for occasionally swimming sideways when it gets lazy. Sophomore Leyna Chau said, “I would be its friend.”

There are hundreds of different species of sharks in the world. They might seem scary and vicious at first, but once you get to know more about them, they’re just as fascinating as any other animal!

 

Graphic Courtesy of VECTORSTOCK.COM