Sharks are a group of fish characterized by a cartilaginous skeleton, five to seven gill slits on the sides of the head, and pectoral fins that are not fused to the head. Modern sharks are classified within the clade Selachimorpha and are the sister group to the rays. However, the term "shark"... MORE
Sharks are a group of fish characterized by a cartilaginous skeleton, five to seven gill slits on the sides of the head, and pectoral fins that are not fused to the head. Modern sharks are classified within the clade Selachimorpha and are the sister group to the rays. However, the term "shark" has also been used for extinct members of the subclass Elasmobranchii outside the Selachimorpha, such as Cladoselache and Xenacanthus. Under this broader definition, the earliest known sharks date from more than 420 million years ago. Since then, sharks have diversified into over 470 species. They range in size from the small dwarf lanternshark, a deep sea species of only 17 centimetres in length, to the whale shark, the largest fish in the world, which reaches approximately 12 metres. Sharks are found in all seas and are common to depths of 2,000 metres. They generally do not live in freshwater although there are a few known exceptions, such as the bull shark and the river shark, which can survive in both seawater and freshwater. They breathe through five to seven gill slits. Sharks have a covering of dermal denticles that protects their skin from damage and parasites in addition to improving their fluid dynamics. They have several sets of replaceable teeth. LESS
A LAND fisherman caught a record-breaking 805lb mako shark - and then barbecued and ate it with his friends. Joey Polk, 29, and his two cousins Earnie Polk, 43, and Kenny Peterson, 21, battled the 11ft predator for more than an hour before finally hauling it onto the shore at a secret location on the Florida Panhandle. The catch, set on April 15, beat a previous record set by Earnie for a mako weighing 730lbs, in February 2009. The potential world-record is being judged by the International Land-Based Shark Fishing Association, who look at big game catches caught by fishing on dry land. The Polk family normally release their catches and have helped local groups tag hundreds for conservation. However, this shark was too tired after the epic battle and to avoid wasting him the trio enjoyed their catch at a jumbo-sized family barbecue. Videographer / Director: Earnie Polk Producer: Liam Miller Editor: Joshua Douglas
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