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Friday, August 15, 2014

Weird Shark #10: Large Toothed Cookiecutter Shark

I've saved the best for last.  Although I written about these weird little dudes before, this is the first time that I am writing about them as part of the fish population in the Gulf Of Mexico.  The are a member of the order of dogfish sharks, but from their utterly other-worldly appearance, you''d never know it!  The are just plain strange and alien in just about every way.  I mean, never mind those teeth(!)...they are one of only a handful of sharks that emit Photophores on their bellies; they also possess extremely large forward facing eyes and it has recently been confirmed that they can see in binocular vision--perfect for extremely low light conditions, as it is thought that this fish migrates from between 200 ft. of water to depth more than 4 miles down.  Closer to the surface that have been known to bite other fish, marine mammals, even other sharks (see photo of from National Geographic below), and in one confirmed case, a human being.  Their bites are perfectly circular in nature.  This is one shark that has for the time being been labeled on Least Concern in conservation status.  See more at Wikipedia.

Great White with a Cookiecutter bite.

How You Can Help: Shark Charities

Weird Sharks #9: Requiem Sharks (In Florida Waters)

This not a specific shark at all, but rather a huge family of sharks that contain many, many sub-orders of sharks.  In those sub-orders, there are some strange ones to be found for sure, but I'm concentrating on this family because so many well known sharks belong to it, many in Floridian waters....and the name Requiem Sharks, just sounds to ominous not mention it!  Because, how cool is it that the likes of Tigers, Silkies, Lemons, Blues, Bulls and the spooky sounding Night Shark all belong to the family "Requiem"?!


Conservation Status:  Near Threatened

Conservation Status:  Near Threatened

Conservation Status:  Near Threatened

Conservation Status:  Data Deficient due to deep habitat

Copper Shark AKA Bronze Whaler
Conservation Status:  Near Threatened

Spinner Shark (seen this one a few times)
Conservation Status:  Near Threatened

Silky Shark (Concentrated in FLA waters)
Conservation Status:  Near Threatened

Conservation Status:  Least Concern

Here's the bad boy of them all!  Bull Shark (I've seen many, many of these--I've fished "by" them)
Concentrated in FLA waters
Conservation Status:  Near Threatened

Blacktip Shark (concentrated in FLA waters, in fact they are concentrated in tropical and subtropical coastal waters around the world)
Conservation Status:  Near Threatened

Oceanic Whitetip Shark (concentrated in FLA waters, in fact ALL tropical waters of the world, they are a pelagic shark)
Conservation Status:  Vulnerable

Dusky Shark (concentrated in FLA waters and in other tropical and semitropical coastal areas)
Conservation Status:  Vulnerable

Caribbean Reef Shark (Concentrated in FLA waters)
Conservation Status:  Vulnerable

Sandbar Shark (Concentrated in FLA water and elsewhere)
Conservation Status:  Vulnerable

Night Shark (Concentrated in FLA waters and elsewhere)
Conservation Status:  Vulnerable

Lemon Shark (Concentrated in FLA waters)
Conservation Status:  Near Threatened 

Blue Shark  (Concentrated Worldwide, including FLA, in all temperatures of water, except arctic waters)
Conservation status:  Near Threatened

Atlantic Sharpnose Shark (Concentrated in FLA waters and all up and down the east coast and Mexico)
Conservation status:  Least Concern

Sharks Treasure (1975)

This is one weird movie!

Weird Shark # 9: Sand Tigers AKA Ragged Tooth Sharks

As commonly referred to as a Ragged Tooth Shark as by it's proper name Sand Tiger, this shark is weird in part because of it's appearance.  My lord does it look menacing, and it other sharks like dogfish, that is.  To humans, it's rarely a menace at all.  It is a slow moving creature, very docile and a favorite of large aquariums the world over, simply because it's easy on humans caring for them and other aquarium mates that it swims with on display.  It's appearance though, has made it a target of human fear, and they are often killed just for the sake of a misguided sense of safety.  This is a true tragedy, since these sharks have one of the lowest birth rates amongst all shallow water large fish out there.  Which brings me to why they are truly weird!  Female Sand Tigers have two uteruses--called twin unterine horns, so you would think there would be no birth problem, as most sharks who give birth to live pups (some still lay eggs) have the equivalent of a little of puppies or kittens.  Sand Tigers, on the other hand, always only have twins.  Why?  Because the dominate unborn shark of each uterus survives prenatal growing by consuming it's womb mates.  It's one of the world's strangest cases of cannibalism.  National Geographic photo below shows the teeth of two animals.

Monster Marina

OK, straight the video silliness!  This is going to have stand in both for what we ("we" being myself and Weena at this point) are watching and a shark silliness post!  It's a sexual joke wrapped by a story of bull sharks eating people up rivers...didn't I point out that they swim in fresh water....... Love the wigs!

HA!!!  Soooo real!

Weird Shark # 8: Bull Shark

These sharks look even more "normal" in shark terms, than do Nurse Sharks, but they can do one thing very well that most other sharks cannot:  they can survive (probably) indefinitely in freshwater.  This makes them the largest in terms of girth and teeth sharks that can do this.  Many very large Sawfish, some reaching 20 ft., can also do this, but they are rare and not nearly as deadly.  Glyphis, or so called River Sharks, live almost entirely in brackish and freshwater environments, and they are amongst the rarest wildlife on the planet and relatively small animals.  Bull sharks are, of course, found abundantly in salt water the world over; but this shark, the one that I really grew up with, is super abundant in Florida waters, and that includes it's river systems.  Additionally they have differential feeding habits--they are mostly loners, but can "school" and do.  Finally male bull sharks have the highest testosterone levels of any animal on the planet--so that's weird too.