How many sharks are there?

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People usually ask 'is it true that sharks do this, or shark like that?'. That happens because they think there is only one type or shark or that all sharks are very similar. 

The truth is that there are so many different types of sharks that it is very difficult to make general statements about sharks. What is your guess about how many different kinds (species) of sharks are there?  20? 50? 100? Think bigger! There are more than 500 different kinds of sharks! They come in all shapes, sizes, colors and occupying different parts of the ocean.
 
Almost every marine environment and even some rivers have sharks! But most sharks are inoffensive to humans. Only about 40 of the 500 species are potentially harmful to humans. The rest are either too small, too afraid or not capable of harming humans (the largest fish in the world, the whale shark, is totally harmless and eats only tiny shrimp-like creatures called plankton, as well as small fish.  
 
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