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Reading Comprehension

Reading Comprehension

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Published by pgriselda

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Published by: pgriselda on Nov 20, 2009
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11/13/2010

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Considering the incredible number of between 150-200 millions sharksdestroyed each year, we need to look at the natural biology of sharks tofully understand the potential threat of extinction to these species. Mostsharks are slow growing, have late maturation and low fecundity and thisis the shark’s downfall. They cannot replace their stocks to keep up withhuman exploitation, such as say, sardines can. Lets look at The Great White Shark. The Great White Shark female takesapproximately 15 years to become sexually mature, and the male about8 years. At these ages the female will be around five meters long and themale around four meters long. The Great White Sharks´ fecundity is low, so the female may possibleonly give birth to several litters of pups in a lifetime and these litters arerelatively small, ranging from about seven to eleven pups in a litter. Thewhite shark is just an example, and if you look at all species, you findsome which give birth to only one pup and some such asthe Sandbar shark which only become sexually mature at about 25 yearsold. So due to the shark´s inability to reproduce quickly, stockreplacement is not occurring, and subsequently the populations of theworld are fast diminishing. In fact they are being wiped out far quickerthan most people realise, with many species critically endangered andsome species literally on the brink of extinction. 

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