Shark Attack!

Got an idea that sharks are cold-blooded underwater predators? You’re partly right, but there are warm-blooded, or endothermic, sharks too — not to mention a few species which might provide lifesaving compounds. Read up on the exploits of the shark…

Shark Attack! 1

Shark Attack! 2 Under the fin’s skin
An international research team gets under the skin of unidentified shark fins to find out which species may be over-exploited. It’s the first step on the way to a conservation program.

Shark Attack! 3 Mysterious Megamouth
Is this flabby filter feeder really a close relative of the fast-moving, ferocious white shark? Nobody knows for sure.

Shark Attack! 4 The real threat of sharks
How much do humans have to worry about sharks? According to the man in charge of the International Shark Attack File, the answer might surprise you.

Shark Attack! 5 Sharks saving humans
Medical research into the unusual biology of sharks is finding new ways to help humans and even save lives.

Shark Attack! 6 Sharks in Canada
Moose, beaver and Canada geese instantly conjure images of the Canadian wilderness, but did you know you can find sharks in Canada’s underwater wilderness?

Shark Attack! 7 Living fossils
The bluntnosed sixgill shark’s yearly visit to shallower waters off British Columbia allows a peek into the past.

Shark Attack! 8 Help from an accidental fisher
Researchers studying the salmon shark on the eastern Pacific are getting a hand from commercial fisherman and fishery department observers.

Shark Attack! 9 Jaws was a picky eater
Despite what you may have learned from Hollywood shark attack movies, the great white shark is not a great fan of human cuisine. Our bodies are just too lean.

Body Blueprint

The shark is one of the most ferocious predators of the oceans for a good reason. Nature has given it some amazing tools to help it hunt.

What features are included in the shark’s weaponry?

  • Tail: This is where most of the swimming action takes place. The top blade of the tail, called the caudal fin, provides most of the propulsion for these super-fast swimmers.
  • Eyes: Sharks have keen eyesight in the dim ocean light because of a reflective layer behind the retina. All the better to see you in the dark with.
  • Nostrils: Singularly focused on picking up the faintest traces of a shark’s next meal, these organs can detect blood in the water from as far as 400 meters.
  • Teeth: As a shark’s chief hunting weapon, the teeth sit on a specially hinged jaw, lying in several rows inside the mouth. In many sharks they’re also serrated, built to slice through the flesh of fish or marine animals with ease.

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