HOW DO SHARKS BREATHE? Sharks are fish, and therefore breathe through the use of gills, slit-like openings on the sides of their head. Beneath the gills are tiny blood vessels that extract oxygen out of the water as it passes over them. Most shark species breathe by swimming with their mouths open which allows the water to pass over the gills. Some sharks like nurse, angel and lemon sharks have strong neck muscles that pump water over the gills, allowing the shark to breathe while resting on the ocean bottom.
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