Greenland Sharks

What comes to mind at the mention of the word "shark"? Many may say that they picture a hot, summer day at a beach. People swim in the ocean. They surf. They lie lazily on floats. Then, all of a sudden, somebody spots a pointy fin moving fast and shouts "shark!" The alarm sends the crowd in all directions. They paddle, swim, or run as fast as they can. They know that they can only be safe on land.

Such an image of a shark encounter may be applied to most sharks. But it cannot be in the case of the Greenland shark (also known as the sleeper shark or the gurry shark).

The Greenland shark is a very large shark. It grows up to 21 feet long and weighs more than 2,000 pounds. Its size is about the same as the great white shark. But unlike his ferocious cousin, the Greenland shark is a slow swimmer. And it does not like warm waters. As it prefers a cold environment, it lives in the North Atlantic Ocean near the Arctic. The water temperature there is between 36 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit. During the winter months, the Greenland shark stays closer to the surface. In the summertime, it moves to a deeper depth of up to 2,000 feet.

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