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Sharks are one of nature's most misunderstood creatures. Movies, books, and folk tales have turned one of creations wonders into a hideous, fearful monster. Most people do not understand sharks, or know how they relate to dolphins, whales, and other members of their aquatic family.

You may get students started by asking what they already know about sharks. Do they know which sharks attack humans, and why? Where are they located? How about killer whales? As the discussion goes on, you will find that as a society we actually know very few facts about that which many claim is one of the most vicious creatures around. Challenge students to gather truthful data about sharks, whales, and dolphins. Making judgments based on fact, not supposition and rumor, is not only an important lesson in science, but in life as well.

To further the lesson, and promote involvement, the following Internet sites offer you ideas on how you can get involved, and or present new and exciting material to your class.

Marine Mammal Stranding Center Design a Fish WhaleNet

And, of course, you can always take the interactive "Shark Test" available here.

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