Animal World

Fish, Amphibians, and Reptiles

How many kinds of sharks are there and how many are dangerous?

The United Nations’s Food and Agricultural Organization lists 354 species of sharks, ranging in length from 6 inches (15 centimeters) to 49 feet (15 meters). While 35 species are known to have attacked humans at least once, only a dozen do so on a regular basis. The relatively rare great white shark (Carcharodan carcharías) is the largest predatory fish. The largest specimen accurately measured was 20 feet, 4 inches (6.2 meters) long and weighed 5,000 pounds (2,270 kilograms).


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