A teen flying his drone on a New South Wales beach noticed what is believed to be a great white shark swimming around unwitting waders. As Sea Life Sydney Aquarium shark expert Rob Townsend points out in the news report above, one of the most interesting things about the footage is that the shark appears to be entirely disinterested in the humans. According to Townsend, this situation is a lot more common than beachgoers would like to think.
Read the rest
Some species of sharks have evolved to literally walk along the ocean floor (no, not on land) using their fins as feet. New research Conservation International’s Mark Erdmann and colleagues determined that walking sharks only evolved their unique capability 9 million years ago, "making them the 'youngest' sharks on our planet." Of course, a distinct species usually forms when some members of a species are physically separated from others. So how did that speciation occur in the case of the walking sharks? From an interview with Erdmann at Conservation International:
Read the rest
For most of the walking shark species, our findings support the idea that speciation occurred because the populations slowly expanded their range by walking or swimming, then some individuals eventually became isolated by environmental factors such as sea level rise or the formation of large river systems that broke up their habitats.
For the four walking shark species found at the Bird’s Head Seascape, we suspect that they actually hitched a ride — on a drifting island...
Q: Is there another mystery about walking sharks you hope to solve?
From a scientific perspective, there is still so much to learn from walking sharks. We know that the world’s species that exist today are basically the existing “genetic reservoir” (raw genetic material) we have to adapt to global changes. We also know that walking sharks are very resilient to warm water and that they have a tolerance for oxygen deprivation. Any time you have an animal or plant that can survive in these extreme conditions, there is typically something unique about their genes — a “special sauce”.
In a move that is so bombastic yet embarrassing that it sounds like something straight out This is Spinal Tap—ya know what, let's just let ABC Australia fill us in:
[KISS] cancelled its other [Australian] concerts after lead singer Paul Stanley pulled out due to illness.
But a line-up featuring bass guitarist Gene Simmons, lead guitarist Tommy Thayer, and drummer Eric Singer took to the seas as part of an Airbnb promotion designed to promote tourism locations around the world.
The concert was billed as KISS playing to great white sharks — although no sharks actually turned up.
That's it. That's what actually happened. In Australia, of all places. There were reportedly eight people who paid actual currency to watch this stunt on the boat, along with some media people and stray boaters, for a total estimated crowd of maybe 50 people. Watching 3/4 of KISS perform with a terrible sound system. Okay.
The event was hosted by Adventure Bay Charters, a company that apparently promises "shark cage diving" adventures in the waters around Australia. Hence, the concert was supposed to demonstrate the company's ability to attract sharks for the experience using sound waves instead of blood…except that the whole thing failed in that regard.
"KISS cancel Australian tour but show must go on for great white sharks" [Jodie Hamilton, Emma Pedler and Paul Turton / ABC]
Image via Wikimedia Commons Read the rest
On Saturday, Danny McDaniel was kayaking near Santa Catalina island off the southern California coast when he felt something big strike the side of his boat. It was a great white shark that Ben Frable, Marine Vertebrates Collection Manager at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography later estimated to be 17-20 feet long. How did they know how big it was? They measured the teeth left lodged in the kayak. From CNN:
Read the rest
"I felt like I was being pushed like a toy in the water," said McDaniel, who lives in San Diego.
The shark had sunk its teeth into the back end of the boat and pushed McDaniel around till he was face-to-face with (his kayaking partner in another boat).
"The whole upper body of the shark was out of water," he said. "It was humongous."
The shark soon let go and went deep into the water, according to McDaniel, who said the whole ordeal lasted about five seconds...
"It is pretty amazing and encouraging that such large animals are still able to exist out there with fishing activities and human encroachment and environmental change," Frable said.
"Big individuals like these, especially if they are female, are very important for species' health and survival as they can produce and have produced more offspring than others."
Jeff Crilly and his friends were participating in a mako shark fishing tournament off the Jersey Coast when a different kind of shark came by for a snack of chum. Yes, they're gonna need a bigger boat. John Chisholm, a shark expert at the Massachusetts Division of Fish and Wildlife, estimates the 16- to 18-foot Great White weighs as much as 3,500 pounds.
From the Asbury Park Press:
Chisholm keeps a running database of great white sharks he's identified by certain features, such as markings. Crilly's shark had white markings on its gills, which Chisholm found no matches for in the hundreds of sharks logged in the database.
"She wasn't in there. I was able to determine it was a new shark and if we ever see it again, we'll be able to identify her," Chisholm said.
Chisholm invited Crilly to name the animal and he dubbed her Sherri. After his mom. Read the rest
Yesterday, a guest on the 28th floor at the Tidewater Resort on Panama City Beach caught this video of a big shark circling a lone woman who had no idea the animal was nearby. Eventually people on the beach noticed the shark and yelled to the woman to return to shore. I don't know what kind of shark it was, or whether it was hungry, but I am certain that this video would be more interesting with the soundtrack below. (News Herald)
Read the rest
An astonishing school of hammerhead sharks surprises divers at Darwin's Arch in the Galápagos Islands in this majestic video from the BBC's Mission Galápagos series. In an article at Wanderlust, Mission Galápagos host and animal biologist Liz Bonnin lists this adventure as one of her "most amazing wildlife experiences":
The hammerheads come from all different directions and gather, swim around each other in big circles in a wonderful sort of balletic association. At the very centre of this big mass of hammerheads are the oldest, most mature females. The younger sharks swim around them. When the males come in to mate, they’ve got to weave and wind their way through this mass of hammerheads, so only the strongest, fittest males will get to mate with the females in the centre.
We are only just beginning to understand the purpose of this mass congregation, so the more scientists dive down there, the more they’re understanding its importance. It’s a very special place, and a very important behaviour, that needs to be protected. The Galapagos is one of the last jewels of this blue planet of ours. It really needs extra protection of ours oceans to make sure that that doesn’t disappear for ever. It was extraordinary.
(via The Kid Should See This)
Read the rest
Having a rough day? Relax! These adorable sharks are on the other side of the glass. Read the rest
TIL: Sharks are attracted to the sound of death metal. Apparently, the "dense tones" of it mimics the "low frequencies of struggling fish." (Damn.)
In 2015, a Discovery Channel crew -- hoping to attract a large great white named "Joan of Shark" -- dropped a speaker underwater and played some.
Desperate to feature the 16-foot, 1.6 tonne shark in their documentary, they submerged a speaker to see if the shark would react. Unfortunately they didn't manage to attract Joan, but did catch the attention of two others, one of which was 12 feet long.
Sharks 'hear' by picking up vibrations from receptors on their bodies, meaning they can be attracted to the low-frequency vibrations of heavy music, which apparently sounds like struggling fish.
(Soap Plant Wacko) Read the rest
Watch marine biologist Ocean Ramsey (yes, Ocean is her first name!) swim with a 20-foot great white shark off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii. First spotted off Guadalupe in 2014, this animal, nicknamed "Deep Blue," is thought to be the largest great white in the world. They're definitely going to need a bigger boat.
“We never would have imagined we would be fortunate enough to be graced with the presence of this massive, big, beautiful, female white shark," says Ramsey, who at the time was observing tiger sharks with her One Ocean Research team. “It fills my heart with joy and takes my breath away.”
View this post on Instagram Read the rest
Beyond magic! Please #helpsavesharks !!!! Incredible swimming with “Deep Blue” one of the largest great white s for hour! Just using our @oneoceandiving boat as a scratching post, so mellow and beautiful. Help ban the purposeful killing of sharks and rays with @oneoceanconservation this year & in your local/international community ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ AHHHHHHMAZING!!!! #Beyondwords still out to sea/going back in ?????? vid shot by @oneoceandiving Shark specialist & my amazing #seaster @mermaid_kayleigh out with @juansharks @forrest.in.focus @camgrantphotography @oneoceanresearch
Great Whites travel months to visit what The San Francsico Chronicle describes as a "shark lair" in the Pacific Ocean. Mystified scientists took a deeper look. Read the rest
I guess Shark Week is educational. Read the rest
A fantastic behind-the-scenes clip from Blue Planet II:
The Blue Planet II team dive to over 700 meters to see what happens to a whale carcass on the seabed. Whilst filming sharks as they feast, the sharks start to take a worrying interest in the submarine!
Read the rest
A great white shark washed up today on a popular Sydney, Australia beach. Manly Sea Life Sanctuary transferred the juvenile shark to a nearby swimming pool to recover before they release it into the ocean in the next couple days. According to The Independent, "The pool will remain closed until the shark is released."
Read the rest
Lagrangeville, New York police found seven live sharks and three dead ones in a basement pool inside a home. The sandbar, leopard, and hammerhead sharks were between two and four feet long.
According to the Associated Press, "marine wildlife experts took blood samples and measured and tagged the sharks before transferring them to the Long Island Aquarium in a truck equipped with water tanks, oxygen and climate control."
An investigation is underway. Sounds to me like a low-budget supervillain's lair. Read the rest
Brynn Metheny is the undisputed master of mashing up cats and sharks into delightful creatures. Her original series was so popular, she created a sequel this year. Read the rest
Terry Selwood, 73, was fishing near Evans Head, New South Wales, Australia when a nine-foot great white shark jumped onto the deck of his boat.
"I caught a blur of something coming over the boat … and the pectoral fin of the shark hit me on the forearm and knocked me down on the ground to my hands and knees," Selwood told ABC. "He came right over the top of the motor and then dropped onto the floor... There I was on all fours and he's looking at me and I'm looking at him and then he started to do the dance around and shake and I couldn't get out quick enough onto the gunnel."
According to the Evans Head Marine Rescue Unit, they arrived to find the shark on the on the boat and Selwood "covered in blood with numerous lacerations on his right forearm."
Selwood received stitches and is now fine. The dead shark was delivered to the Department of Primary Industries for study.
Read the rest