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Class Chondrichthyes (e.g. Great White Shark)
Great White Sharks
Hi, I'm Bruce; I am a Carcharodon carcharias, better known as a Great White Shark. I am one of the most feared animals in the water. I can get up to than 20 feet long and weigh more than 5,000 pounds. I can reach speeds of 15 miles per hour, and our mouths are lined with more than 3,000 teeth. I can detect blood up to 3 miles away, and I have organs that can sense tiny electromagnetic fields generated by animals. We live in most of the temperate coast around the world.
When I was in my young years I fed on animals such as fish, rays and other small sharks. But once I started growing up I started feeding on marine mammals such as seals, small whales, otters and also sea turtles. I attack my prey with one fatal surprising bite from bellow. I do not chew my food, but rip of big chunks of it and swallow it whole. If we eat big enough meals, we can go a whole 2 months without eating another one. Despite what you people might think we do not prey on humans, we are simply curious or confused.
The way I "breath" is, first the water enters my gill chambers through my gills or my mouth, and then the blood in my gills absorbs the oxygen from the incoming water. It is believed by humans that I have to swim to get water in my gills, in fact that is not true all I have to do is open and close my mouth and water will circulate through. But I do have to constantly be in motion anyways because of my low blood pressure.
I use a two-chambered heart to pump my blood from my heart to my gills then to the rest of my body. I generally have a temperature of about 14 degrees Fahrenheit above the surrounding water, because I am a fast moving shark. To maintain a blood flow in my body I must constantly be in motion.
The excess salt I take in from the water is removed from my bloodstream by my kidneys. I then excrete the salt as thick whitish paste from small organs called rectal glands; also excess water is filtered through my kidney and out my cloacae as urine.
I use my excellent sense to help me respond to my environment. My nostrils which are only used for smelling can are so sensitive that they can detect 1 drop of blood in 25 gallons of water. Also I have tiny jelly-filled canals in my head that can detect the tiniest magnetic field from an animal.
I use my powerful tail to help propel me through the water, and I use my fins to help keep me balanced. While I am just swimming about I only get up to 2 miles per hour, but watch out because I can reach to speeds around 15 miles per hour. I am constantly swimming because unlike bony fish I don't have a gas filled swim bladder, although my oil liver does provide a little buoyancy. As I told you before, I can jump out of the water to catch my prey, I am proud to say I am the only shark that can do that.
I never knew my father or my mother for that part, but do I do know that when my 14 (it varies from 2 to 14 pups) other siblings and I were born; we were up to 5 feet long. We Great White Sharks are fertilized in the females, and from the beginning we have to fight to survive. First the fertilized eggs find nourishment in the unfertilized eggs, and then we have to eat the other sharks in the wound in order to be born. After birth we immediately swim away from our mothers.
WE'RE HAVING FISH TONIGHT!
Myers, P. 2001. "Chordata", Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 29, 2008 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Chordata.html.
Levine, Joseph, and Kenneth Miller. Prentice Hall Biology. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc., 2006.
Long, Doug. "The Great White Shark." 1996. 29 Apr 2008 http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/vertebrates/Doug/shark.html.
"GREAT WHITE SHARK." Enchanted Learning. 2008. 29 Apr 2008 http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/sharks/species/Greatwhite.shtml.
"SHARKS & RAYS." Sea World. 29 Apr 2008 http://www.seaworld.org/animal-info/info-books/sharks-&-rays/anatomy.htm.
"Maintaining the Internal Sea." Biology of Sharks and Rays. 29 Apr 2008 http://www.elasmo-research.org/education/white_shark/tmao.htm.
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