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Whale Sharks



Whale Sharks
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 3 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.37

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    agitation, excess, mild-tempered, rakers, snorkelers, trigger, encounter, propel, divers, shark, plankton, unique, combination, entire, gill, underwater


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Whale Sharks   

1     "Whale shark", a name that is a combination of two marine animals, is bound to trigger a question in our minds - are whale sharks whales or sharks? Well, one hint - whale sharks are the largest fish on Earth. They can grow up to 50 feet long and weigh more than 27,000 pounds!
 
2     Wait a second! What about blue whales? Aren't they bigger than whale sharks? Yes! Blue whales, about 80 feet in length and over 250,000 pounds in weight, are much bigger than whale sharks. Blue whales are not the world's largest fish, because they are not fish! Whales, along with dolphins, are mammals that live underwater. So, let's go back to the first question - are whale sharks whales or sharks? That's right, they are sharks!
 
3     Aside from their enormous size that gives away their identity, whale sharks are very easy to recognize. The most prominent feature is their yellowish white dots and stripes on their dark gray backs. Unlike other sharks, whale sharks don't have their mouths on their undersides. Their mouths are at the very front of their heads and they are really big - 4 feet in width! Whale sharks have rows of teeth. However, they don't use their teeth to capture prey, as some of their aggressive relatives (such as great white sharks) are most famous for.

Paragraphs 4 to 6:
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Animal Themes
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Fish
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Oceans
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Animals
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