Aside from dogs and cats, another animal children love to keep as pets are fish. This love and interest for fish is often not limited to small ones and you may find kids or people that are enamored by large and scary breeds, like sharks. Having sharks as pets is impossible and prohibited. Good thing there is a shark stuffed animal to take its place. With a shark stuffed animal, kids can hug and cuddle with the ocean’s ferocious beast, without fear at all.
With fossils analyzed to be dating back to 300 million years, sharks are considered one of the oldest living creatures. The ones we are seeing now are believed to have evolved 100 million years ago. There are about 250 known species at the moment and most of them are colored gray, brown, or black with a lighter shade on their underside. However, there are also species with distinctive marks on their bodies, like the swell shark, leopard shark, and whale shark. They have torpedo-shaped bodies with uneven length of fins, the upper one being longer.
A shark’s body structure is different from other fishes. Its skeleton is made up of cartilage which is less dense, thus making their total body mass lighter. This makes it easier for them to swim and achieve buoyancy. Most fishes have 4 pairs of gills, but sharks have 5 to 7 pairs. They also have several rows of teeth which continuously generate throughout their lives. If the outer teeth break off, the next row would take its place.
Most fish have scales covering their skin. Sharks, on the other hand, have dermal denticles, or tiny, tooth-like scales. These are rough to touch. Their thick skin is composed of criss-crossed meshwork of tough fibers made of protein called collagen.
The largest shark is the Whale Shark, which is 40 feet long, or basically as big as a bus. It weighs 13 tons that is equivalent to 2 elephants. Their eggs are as big as footballs. Their diet include fish that live close to the water’s surface and planktons. They have the ability to stand upright and open their mouths, and just wait for a prey to come near.
The Dwarf Lantershark, which is 17 cm. long, is the smallest shark. They are common in the Carribean Sea. Owing to their size, they only eat small fishes and shrimps. Next to it in size is the Pygmy Shark. It is longer by only 8 cm. Both of these stay in deep waters and produce light through what is known as bioluminescence.
Scary movies and various reports of shark attacks have made this species regarded as dangerous and frightening. However, this does not apply to all sharks. It will be good to know that the harmless ones are also the large species, like the whale sharks, the megamouth, and the basking shark. They only feed on planktons and are generally harmless.
A shark stuffed animal is available in most toy stores. Popular online stores like Tabby Plush and Melissa & Doug sell them. They come in 3 ft. length of gray and soft body that are very ideal as toys and display figures.
With a shark stuffed animal, parents can give their kids the chance to play with this seldom seen creature of the sea. It is also a chance to educate children of the importance of sharks in our ecology system, which is why we should preserve and protect them.