This passage describes different types of sharks.

Lexile Level: 1350L

Categories: Animals & Nature

While the big screen and popular folklore like to paint sharks as flesh-hungry human hunters, the reality is that only a small percentage of the several hundred shark species present even the slightest risk to people. To characterize sharks as savages is to miss an opportunity to learn about these varied and fascinating creatures. The immense variety of shark species can be attributed, at least in part, to their long history. Sharks first appeared in the earth's oceans over four hundred million years ago. While some species are relatively recent products of evolution, others such as the elfin shark and the frilled shark, exist in nearly the same form as their primitive ancestors. Besides differences in heritage, sharks also vary significantly in size and shape. Adult sharks range in length from six inches to over fifty feet, and the sleek, open-water swimmers like thresher sharks might not even recognize their distant cousins, the oddly-shaped hammerheads.


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