I guess Shark Week is educational. 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."
Nice day for it! Incredible creature up close, but still too close for me! Vid sent in from a Manly local, who has decided to stay dry today pic.twitter.com/eYKu4L321U
— Freya Cole (@freya_cole) September 11, 2017
— 7 News Sydney (@7NewsSydney) September 11, 2017
— 7 News Sydney (@7NewsSydney) September 11, 2017
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
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.
The filmmaker was diving off Gansbaai, Western Cape, South Africa. Read the rest
Never be caught unawares by a shark again with the Global Shark Tracker. There are apps for mobile platforms, but it doesn't work very well on a small display. Always go with a bigger boat.
In a collaborative environment established by Founding Chairman and Expedition Leader Chris Fischer, OCEARCH shares real-time data through OCEARCH’s Global Shark Tracker, inspires current and future generations of explorers, scientists, and stewards of the ocean, and enables leading researchers and institutions to generate previously unattainable data. OCEARCH has completed 26 worldwide expeditions.
In 2015, OCEARCH open sourced the data on the Global Shark Tracker to 2.3 million users, achieved an annual global reach of more than 12.2 billion media impressions, a Facebook reach of 150 million impressions, and a Twitter reach of 36 million impressions.
OCEARCH expeditions and digital outreach platforms are enabled through the support of Costa Sunglasses, YETI, Yamaha, Contender, SAFE Boats, and oneQube.
You can follow the OCEARCH tagged sharks by accessing the near-real time, free online Global Shark Tracker, by downloading the Global Shark Tracker App available for Apple and Android platforms, or by following OCEARCH on all social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
Read the rest
“Shark Wranglers” is the same crew (minus Dr. Michael Domeier) formerly featured on the show “Shark Men” on the National Geographic Channel, which itself used to be called “Expedition: Great White.” These guys specialize in a unique, possibly unnecessarily-invasive procedure to catch and tag large sharks.
Ghost sharks, aka chimaeras, are elusive relatives of sharks and rays that live in the black depths of the ocean, as far down as 2,600 meters. The Ghost Shark was captured on video by a remotely operated vehicle deployed on a geology expedition by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in waters off Hawaii and California. The scientists who analyzed the video think that it's a pointy-nosed blue chimaera (Hydrolagus trolli) that usually calls the waters off Australia and New Zealand home. This is the first time researchers have known this species to swim in the Northern Hemisphere. From National Geographic:
Unlike those more well-known sharks, chimaeras don’t have rows of ragged teeth, but instead munch up their prey—mollusks, worms, and other bottom-dwellers—with mineralized tooth plates.
A pattern of open channels on their heads and faces, called lateral line canals, contain sensory cells that sense movement in the water and help the ghost sharks locate lunch.
And perhaps most fascinating, male chimaeras sport retractable sex organs on their foreheads.
University of Malaga scientists were studying the cardiovascular systems of Atlantic sawmill catsharks (catshark (Galeus atlanticus) when they found one with two heads. This is the first time that dicephaly (two-headedness) has been seen in an egg-laying shark. From National Geographic:
Read the rest
The causes of dicephaly aren't known, but the researchers—led by Valentín Sans-Coma of the University of Malaga—suspect that genetics are the most likely culprit (rather than some environmental factor, à la Blinky, the three-eyed fish, from The Simpsons)...
"We see two-headed sharks occasionally," says George Burgess, director of the Florida program for shark research at the Florida Museum of Natural History. "It's an anomaly, caused by a genetic misfire. There are lots of different kinds of genetic misfires, and most don't make it out of the womb."
"There’s a reason you don’t see a lot of sharks with two heads swimming around: they stand out like a sore thumb, so they get eaten," adds Burgess. "They would have trouble swimming and probably digesting food."
"Was there anybody in there?" asks someone on the boat. Not anymore!
Read the rest
On a recent great white shark cage diving trip we experienced a very rare event, a shark breaching the side of the cage. What might appear to be an aggressive great white shark trying to attack the cage, this is not the case. These awesome sharks are biting at large chunks of tuna tied to a rope. When a great white shark lunges and bites something, it is temporarily blinded. They also cannot swim backwards. So this shark lunged at the bait, accidentally hit the side of the cage, was most likely confused and not able to swim backwards, it thrust forward and broke the metal rail of the cage. There was a single diver inside the cage. He ended up outside the bottom of the cage, looking down on two great white sharks. The diver is a very experienced dive instructor, remained calm, and when the shark thrashed back outside the cage, the diver calmly swam back up and climbed out completely uninjured. The boat crew did an outstanding job, lifting the top of the cage, analyzing the frenzied situation, and the shark was out after a few long seconds. Everyone on the boat returned to the cages the next day, realizing this was a very rare event. The boat owner, captain, and crew are to be commended for making what could've been a tragic event into a happy ending. I'm sure God and luck had a bit to do with it too!
A new study suggests that the ominous background music often heard in shark documentaries correlates with viewers' fearful and negative opinions of sharks. (For the source of this musical cliche, see the 1975 trailer for Jaws above.) From the Scripps Institution of Oceanography researchers paper in the scientific journal PLOS One:
Using three experiments, we show that participants rated sharks more negatively and less positively after viewing a 60-second video clip of swimming sharks set to ominous background music, compared to participants who watched the same video clip set to uplifting background music, or silence. This finding was not an artifact of soundtrack alone because attitudes toward sharks did not differ among participants assigned to audio-only control treatments. This is the first study to demonstrate empirically that the connotative attributes of background music accompanying shark footage affect viewers’ attitudes toward sharks. Given that nature documentaries are often regarded as objective and authoritative sources of information, it is critical that documentary filmmakers and viewers are aware of how the soundtrack can affect the interpretation of the educational content.
Smart About Sharks
by Owen Davey
Flying Eye Books
2016, 40 pages, 9.2 x 11.5 x 0.5 inches
I love children’s books that are as delicious for kids as they are for adults, and Smart About Sharks is exactly that. With a sumptuous textured cloth cover, an appealing gray-tinted palette of earth tones playfully punctuated by pink, and a retro encyclopedic design, Smart is filled with fascinating bite-sized shark facts that were completely new to me. Examples: sharks were here on earth 200-million years before dinosaurs; there’s a shark called a megamouth that has a glow-in-the-dark mouth; some sharks grow only to the size of a pencil.
Smart About Sharks, just released today, is similar to illustrator Owen Davey’s other info-packed animal book, Mad About Monkeys, which came out almost exactly a year ago (363 days to be exact), and which I reviewed here on Wink. Everything from what sharks eat to their social life to their various shapes, sizes, and many different types (over 500 unique species in our oceans today!) is covered in this high-quality picture book. Rumor has it that this is the start of a series with Flying Eye Books. I hope the rumors are true! Read the rest
College student Ryan Willsea captured this video a few weeks ago while on a fishing trip in the Gulf of Mexico.
Tiger sharks are "expert at taking advantage of situations when a potential prey item is compromised," Florida Museum of Natural History shark researcher George Burgess told National Geographic. "And nothing makes an animal more compromised than having a hook in its mouth and being pulled to a boat."
"She appears to be in an almost catatonic state," says the narrator. I wonder what she's dreaming about.