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Sharks

These grey nurse sharks inhabit Magic Point off Sydney in Australia. Magic Point is a popular dive site and also a designated critical shark habitat.

Sharks have a notorious reputation, and they are certainly well-adapted to hunting their prey.

Grey nurse sharks mainly hunt for lobsters, crabs, smaller sharks, fish, rays and squid, and are not a threat to divers unless provoked. Grey nurse sharks are smaller than their open ocean cousins, growing up to about 10 feet long.

They are a popular sight for tourists, with shark tourism estimated to be worth over $300 million annually. People flock from all over the world to snorkel or dive with these magnificent creatures.

Whale sharks are the largest fish on Earth. The longest whale shark recorded was a massive 41.5 feet long and weighed about 21.5 tons, roughly the weight of 650 10 year-olds.

Whale sharks are filter-feeders, meaning that they sieve through the ocean waters for plankton, free-floating microscopic animals, larvae and eggs.

There is an element of myth-making in the creation of shark’s fearsome reputation. Even the Great white shark do not deliberately prey on humans, but sometimes bite to investigate something unfamiliar in their environment. They use their teeth like we use our hands.

Our perception of the risks sharks pose are skewed by high profile events and Hollywood movies. In 2016, there were 81 shark attacks worldwide, four of which were fatal. Compare this to the fact that 20 people a year are killed by cows in the United States, and humans are estimated to kill over 100 million sharks each year.

Now, which one is the most dangerous animal?

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