June 16, 2011

The Baby Sharks

Animal Attacks and shark attacks are not spectacular for holiday makers as they come in different forms where you least expect them

Angelsharks used to be called monkfish because the strange shape of their heads resembled the hood of a monk's cloak.
Angelsharks are found in the Eastern Pacific.
Beautiful dangerous deep sea creatures. People say it could have been a shark or
a beautiful dolphin riding the waves. Pic by Kurt Jones
They grow to approximately 5 feet in length.
Angelsharks will bite if surprised or harassed.
Their numbers are now declining due to heavy fishing

flat body like a stingray -- you can tell the shark is not a ray because the pectoral fins are not attached to the head.

They bury themselves in the sand or mud with only the eyes and part of the top of the body exposed.

They are bottom feeders, eating crustaceans like clams and mollusks and fish that are swimming close to the ocean floor



The basking shark is the second largest fish in the world after the whale shark. Both are plankton filter feeders.
Basking sharks are found in the western and eastern Pacific, western and eastern Atlantic, and western Indian Ocean.
They grow to approximately 33 feet in length.
Possibly dangerous if attacked.
Basking sharks are common in some regions, but their numbers are being depleted in other areas.
second largest shark (about 30 feet long and 8,000 pounds)

filters plankton from the water using "gill rakers"



Blacktip reef sharks are one of the most common species of sharks found in shallow lagoons and the coral reefs of the tropical Pacific and Indian Oceans

Black tip reef sharks are found in the Indo-Australian Pacific, to the central Pacific.
They grow to approximately 6 feet in length.
They are non-aggressive, but do potentially pose a threat to waders.
Blacktip reef sharks are very common in all areas where they exist.

does well in captivity so is often found in aquariums (which is why we have so many photos of it)

about 6 feet long.

grey with a black tip on its fins and white streak on its side

about 12 feet long.

sleek, tapered body

among the fastest swimming sharks and can even leap out of the water

diet consists mostly of squid, but it will eat almost anything

considered dangerous - have attacked people



Blue shark females have skin 3-times thicker than that of male blue sharks. This feature is very important to the females since the males bite them during courtship.
Blue sharks are found worldwide in open oceans.
They grow to approximately 13 feet in length.
Potentially dangerous.
Blue sharks were once very abundant, but their numbers have been reduced by heavy fishing.

third most dangerous to people

can swim in salt and fresh water and have even been found in the Mississipi river.



The cookiecutter was originally called the cigar shark. Its name was changed to cookiecutter shark after its feeding behavior was observed and it was revealed that this shark takes bites out of its prey that resembles cookiecutter shaped marks.
Cookiecutter sharks can be found throughout the tropical oceans of the world.
They grow to approximately 20 inches in length.
It is unknown precisely how common this shark is, but it is probably not uncommon in deep oceanic waters
a small shark (less than 2 feet long)

eats perfecty round chunks out of living whales and dolphins by clamping its teeth extremely sharp teeth onto them.
very uncommon and likely the strangest looking shark (rarely seen)
pale, pinkish grey skin with a long pointed snout (it looks a bit like a sword on top of its head)
lives in very deep water.

found off the coast of Japan in 1898... until that time it was believed to have been extinct for 100 million years



The goblin sharks live in very deep waters of 3500 feet or deeper. Living in such deep waters means this shark species is rarely seen.
Goblin sharks can be found in the western and eastern Atlantic, western Pacific, and western Indian Ocean.
They grow to approximately 11 feet in length.
Not known for sure, but it is probably a common species.



The great white shark got a bad reputation after the movie "Jaws" was released. But did you know that on the movie's posters the image shown was the body of a great white with the teeth of a mako shark? The film makers did not feel that the great white's teeth were menacing enough so they used a mako's teeth instead.
Great white sharks can be found worldwide, along continental margins of all temperate seas and entering tropics.
They grow to approximately 22 feet in length.
The great white is not abundant anywhere, but it is protected in South Africa, Australia, Maldives, and California.

more attacks on people than any other type.
Animal attacks and shark attacks are a common sight  for the holidays makers surfers and passengers When  Great White Shark are born they have all the freedom to rule the ocean and extend its domain. Only very few pups reach adulthood. As far as sharks are concerned and as soon as they are born the baby shirks move close to the water surface as they are fully developed measuring 1.10 to 1.60 meters long and weighing 3,00 pounds. These baby dangerous sharks can fully protect themselves from other sea predators. Along their food chain it will mainly be composed of small fish and squids. Pups are very careful and vanish off the scene as soon as they see a full-grown shark. The great white sharks are known for their ferocious attacks as they are the only sharks which  can lift their heats out of the water The great white shark has managed to kill many people than any other kind of sharks



The great hammerhead shark eats many types of fish but it has a preference for stingrays, skates, and other sharks. It is the largest species in the hammerhead family.
Great hammerhead sharks can be found in the western and eastern North Atlantic, Indo-West, and eastern Pacific.
They grow to approximately 12 feet in length. There have been reports though of great hammerheads as large as 20 feet in length.
Few attacks have been recorded, but it is still considered dangerous.
Great hammerheads are common in the areas where they are found.

unlikely to attack people, but considered dangerous due to its predatory nature and its size

eyes and nostrils are far apart, giving it a "hammerhead" appearance and allowing the shark to extend the range of its senses.



California horn sharks get their name from the spine or "horn" that grows from their dorsal fin. The horn is very useful in protecting this shark from predators. When a predator catches a horn shark its spine stabs into the roof of the mouth which usually makes the predator spit the horn shark out rather quickly!
California horn sharks can be found in the waters of central California to the Gulf of California.
They grow to approximately 4 feet in length.
Not considered dangerous.
This shark is common to the areas where it is found.
The Port Jackson shark is sometimes mistaken for the California horn shark, but are very different members of the same shark family. Port Jackson sharks are native to Australia, Tasmania, and are sometimes found in the waters of New Zealand. Port Jackson sharks tend to be lightly striped, where the California horn shark is spotted.



The mako shark is one of the fastest swimming sharks. It has been clocked at speeds up to 60 mph. The mako was also the shark featured in Ernest Hemingway's novel "The Old Man and the Sea".
Mako sharks can be found worldwide.
They grow to approximately 13 feet in length.
Potentially dangerous.
They are not uncommon, but their numbers have been reduced by developing fisheries
fastest swimmer (43 miles per hour)
known to leap out of the water (sometimes into boats)



No one knows for sure how the nurse shark got its name, but it is thought that the name probably came from the sucking noise it makes during feeding which sounds like a nursing baby.

Nurse sharks can be found in the eastern Pacific, western Atlantic, and tropical West Africa.
They grow to approximately 14 feet in length.
Harmless unless provoked.
This shark is common, particularly in the Caribbean.

bottom dwelling shark

thin, fleshy, whisker-like organs on the lower jaw in front of the nostrils that they use to touch and taste

hunt at night, sleep by day

common at aquariums


The sandbar shark is also called a thick skin shark. This sharks most noticeable feature is its unusually tall front dorsal fin.
Sandbar sharks can be found in the western and eastern Atlantic, western, eastern, and central Pacific, and western Indian Ocean.
They grow to approximately 8 feet in length.
Not dangerous.
This shark has been a common species in the areas where it is found, but due to over fishing its numbers are fast declining.

the sandtiger shark has very pointed teeth -- the better to eat you with (if you're a fish!)

10 feet long

predator (carnivore)

nocturnal (hunts mostly at night)

Babies:  The mother shark has two uterus.  Many sharks begin in the uterus, but the strongest one in each uterus eats all the others before they are born. 



Silky sharks get their name from the smooth and silky texture of their skin.
Silky sharks can be found worldwide.
They grow to over 10 feet in length.
Potentially dangerous.
The silky is a common species of shark



The spiny dogfish is also known as the piked dogfish or whitespotted spurdog. Spiny dogfish are cold water sharks that prefer ocean temps from 42 to 58 degrees F.
Spiny dogfish can be found in the temperate and cold waters of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, Mediterranean, and Black Sea.
They grow to approximately 4 feet in length.
This shark has been depleted in many areas

the most abundant shark

3 to 4 feet long

slightly poisonous spines (not very harmful to people)

used by people for food and research.



The pelagic thresher shark is commonly observed far from land and swimming at the ocean's surface.
Pelagic thresher sharks can be found in the Indo-Pacific.
They grow to approximately 11 feet in length.
Harmless and shy of divers.
This shark is becoming less common due to heavy fishing.

10 foot tail (1/2 as long as the body) which it uses to herd small fish



The tiger shark gets its name from the dark stripes on its back.
Tiger sharks can be found worldwide in tropic waters.
They grow to approximately 18-24 feet in length.
This shark is becoming uncommon and is very rarely seen.

second most attacks on people

eat anything!  (have been found with boat cushions and alarm clocks in their stomachs)

biggest shark and biggest fish

it isn't a whale (whales are mammals, not fish)

grow to 45 feet long and 30,000 pounds, but average about 25 feet long

filters plankton from the water using "gill rakers"



Whitetip reef sharks are sometimes confused with the oceanic whitetip shark, but they are not the same. Whitetip reef sharks live close to shore at depths of 25 to 130 feet, while oceanic whitetip sharks are much larger and are usually found far off shore.
Whitetip reef sharks can be found in the Red Sea, Indian Ocean, central Pacific, and tropical eastern Pacific.
They grow to approximately 5-7 feet in length.
Potentially dangerous.
This shark is common to the areas where it is found
probably the most common shark encountered by divers and snorkelers on tropical reefs

about 3 feet long on average though it can be as big as 6 feet.

dark grey with a white tip on the first and sometimes on the second dorsal fin as well as the tail lobes



Wobbegongs are a shark species in the genus Orectolobus. Wobbegongs live along the reef bottom and are most active at night. They will camouflage themselves under the sandy bottom so that they can spring out and catch unsuspecting prey.

Wobbegongs can be found in the western Pacific.
They grow to approximately 10-13 feet in length.
Dangerous when provoked, captured, disturbed, or stepped on.
Wobbegongs are common in the areas where they are found.

about 8 feet long, but virtually harmless.
lives in Australia and Pacific coastal reefs
lies on the bottom of the ocean waiting for fish to come near.
filters food into its mouth with worm-like projections on its head
razor-like teeth
yellow, brown and gray camouflage colouring.



Juvenile zebra sharks have zebra-like stripes which give them their name, but as the shark matures these stripes become spots. Because of their adult color patterns they are also known as leopard sharks... not to be confused with the leopard shark of the eastern Pacific. Zebra sharks are usually found swimming over tropical coral reefs.
Zebra sharks can be found widespread in the tropical western Pacific and Indian Ocean.
They grow to approximately 12 feet in length.
This shark is common in the areas where it is found.

small, gentle shark that can be kept in an aquarium with other fish

tail is half its length

Shark Attacks Prevention and safety

There are three kinds of attack:
1 Hit and run: usually a single strike in a surf area as a result of mistaken identity or territorial dominance. Injuries are minor.
2 Bump and bite: the animal is hungry and surveys the prey in decreasing circles, bumping it to get an initial flavour. After the bump comes the bite, if you're tasty enough. Neoprene probably wouldn't fit the bill. Repeat visits are common and injuries severe.
3 Sudden strike: often by the Great White. Repeat visits are common and injuries severe.

Avoiding an attack in shark waters:

Don't go alone - these animals tend to go for lone prey as their senses can tune in better on the target and they like easy meat. Sharks, like all predators, tend to go after solitary individuals, the weak and the infirm, and are less likely to attack people or fish in groups.
Furthermore, since great whites and tiger sharks tend to retreat after the first bite it's useful to have victim assistance nearby.
Don't go in deep - while it is true that some attacks happen in shallow water, more often sharks travel around steep drop offs or near river mouths, as that is where their natural food congregates.
Don't swim or surf in murky water - mistaken identity is generally the reason that people are attacked and in surf and/or murky water hungry critters can see you less well. Then again, you can't see them at all!
Don't go for dawn/dusk/night swims - the favoured hunting time and poor vision time for you.

Don't go in if there's blood - sharks can smell it many miles away so don't enter the water with open wounds, near where people are fishing/spear fishing, or near ocean garbage, and ladies should not go in during their monthly cycle.
Don't wear jewellery - a shark's vision is not that great as they rely on vibrations or electrical signals in the water. However they do pick up on contrasting tones of dark and light very well which help them catch shiny fish.
Highly contrasting wetsuits [e.g. black and white], swimsuits or jewellery may get part of you mistaken for a fish.
Don't go bare - wear a wetsuit, nothing like the taste of neoprene to put you off your dinner!
Don't panic - if you see a shark, leave the water as quietly and quickly as possible, or stay still and vertical [i.e. unlike a seal]
Don't swim where others have been attacked - sharks do strike twice, unlike lightning.
The recreational groups most attacked are surfers, with bathers second. Surfers splash a lot in surf conditions which making it easier for sharks to mistake their identity. Surfers also spend the greatest proportion of time in the water. Since 1980 over 300 surfers worldwide have been mauled by sharks.

If you're being circled or otherwise hassled by a shark:
Swimmers and surfers - if the shark is circling you it may be just curious and checking its territory but if it continues circling and seems hungry try to look the opposite of its regular entreƩ - a seal. In other words don't splash and get/stay vertical.
Another preventative measure is to join hands with another person, making your combined profile much bigger than the shark will wish to attack. Japanese pearl divers used to take off their loincloth and trail it in the water, increasing the apparent size of the swimmer.

If you're attacked:
Swimmers and surfers - look around the surface and below for a shadow, punch and kick at the animal's nose and eyes if a repeat attack occurs*. Shout for help and if you think surf savvy bathers or lifeguard are present, the sign that you are in trouble is one arm raised high - do not wave with one arm, you may just get greeted back.
If you need to wave use both arms or try the international divers shark sign of finger tips together - like a dorsal fin.
Get out of the water as fast as possible but without panicked splashing; swim smoothly and you will go faster.
Your flippers will work best and attract fewer predatory fish if they don't splash, so learn how to use them properly.
*Yes really! Some surfers at a competition in Florida 2001 were attacked repeatedly by several sharks. They literally punched and kicked the menacing fish away from their boards because they wanted to get on with the competition. Some lacerations resulted but all the surfers lived to tell the tale.
A British surfer was attacked by a Great White in South Africa in 2005. It grabbed his leg and dragged him along, however he punched and kicked the beast and lived to tell the tale on national television!

Give a helping hand to a shark attack:
If you see someone under attack, go to help them. It's unknown for a shark to go for the help, they like to focus.
Scuba divers - If you have weapons, use them. If not, try to hit the shark's eyes or nose with anything - your camera, a rock or your fist.
Look Great Whites in the eye. Really! They prefer to attack things that are not looking at them!
These animals like to attack from the side or below so you could find cover protected by rocks.
If you see the shark going around in ever decreasing circles, and even brushing you, expect an attack. If it then heads for you, twitching and jerking - unlike the usual smooth glide - make yourself into a small ball. When the big fish is closer, suddenly snap into a maximum size starfish shape. This apparently confuses the fish's primitive visual apparatus.
If you have a dive buddy - which you should have- holding him/her gives the beast the impression that you are bigger than it.
Remain calm and remember a panicked resurface could give you the bends and kill you.

The most reported attacks:
1. The USA has the highest incidence of shark incidents in the world but one of the reasons for this is the large amount of recreational marine activity that goes on in the region.
Florida is worst affected with around 60% of all cases in the country; the entire east coast has a growing problem with aggressive sharks. California follows at around 15%.
2. Africa
3. Central and South America
4. Australia and the Pacific Islands 

No comments: