Sharks
  

    Great white shark

T he great white shark (carharodon carharias) is the third largest shark species (next to whale shark and bashing shark that actually are two separate breeds). It appears in weights of 1,5 tons. The records lies on 3, 312 tons(1948). While the smaller male can be 5 m long, the female can be as long as 8 m. The longest great white shark was caught in 1835 and was 13,1 m long. You could say that the great white shark exists in all fairly hot waters in both coastal and deep sea areas where suitable food is to be found. In Australia, outside Victoria, the most sharks is counted in april and july, when they are fished by anglers. In the USA the most great white sharks is to be seen outside the coast of New England, and also during the mating season of the sea elephants (november) in the waters of California. The great white sharks is considered a threat against man since they attack and hurt or kill people every once in a while.

   Lemon shark

L emon sharks is possible to spot only in american coastal waters (both in north- and south america). The lemon shark stays where the water is deep during the day to head towards the shore water to find attractive prey like rays and crabs after twillight has set. They can reach a length of 3 m as grown ups. A female can have up to 19 kids in a batch. However, lemon sharks do not reach sexual maturity until 12 years of age. Like many other sharks, the teeth of the lemon shark is in constant renewal. New teeth is in the back of the mouth and they are moved forward in succession in what way a whole rug of teeth is in use. The teeth of an active lemon shark can be changed as often as once a week. Lemon sharks is grey-brown but with strain of yellow. The yellow nuance has given this shark species its name.

   Tiger shark

A tiger shark can become longer than 5 m and weigh almost one ton. The tiger shark is found in hot waters. Around july the are found outside of Boston. Otherwise, they are more common further down the Atlantic and far away from the coast. Every once in a while they are to be seen outside Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean where they catch clumsy albatross kids when the season is in. The female's period of pregnancy is approximately 12 months after which she gives birth to between 10 and 80 completely hatched kids. Sexual maturity probably begins when the tiger shark is just below the length of 3 m. The tiger shark looks like a typical shark and has a back with a blurred pattern on it, which has given rise to its name. It can become older than 12 years. Tiger sharks are as individuals potential maneaters and there have been many cases with killed people.

   Bullhead shark

T he bullhead shark is approximately 1,5 meters long. It lives in coastal waters around Australia and New Zeeland, mostly on a depth of 150 m, approximately. The teeth of the bullhead shark are of two different kinds. It has got sharp teeth in the front part of the jaw, while the teeth further back works as a crushing set of teeth, much like our own molars. The food is mainly shellfish of different sorts, but also cucumbers. The shark females lays eggs, which are of such a spiral shape, that it is possible to screw them into cracks and clefts, which also takes place through the care of the mother sharks. A bullhead shark female lays between 10 and 16 eggs during a season. The hatching takes place after scarcely one year, after which the hatched shark becomes sexually mature after yet another 10 years. A bullhead shark can probably become nearly 30 years old.

   Whitetip reef shark

A whitetip reef shark is usually just below the length of 2 m and weighs 20 to 30 kg. As any other shark has the whitetip reef shark got an electromagnetical sensory organ at its disposal which enables it to perceive the nerve impulses and muscular activity of other fishes through the medium of water. That is why it tries to find well camouflaged, buried flatfishes and rays, among other things. Crabs, lobsters and octopussies is on the menu, as well.The whitetip reef shark is able to detect low-frequency sounds and has a very good sense of smell in water. Hunting takes place at night. During the day the sharks rest in protecting cavities in the reefs, where the head is held towards some bottom stream so that the blood can be provided with oxygene constantly through the gills . They are habitual in their choice of habitat and they do not seldom live on limited parts of the reef for long periods of time. The whitetip reef shark looks slim and lithe but has nonetheless a somewhat restricted movability and is sometimes caught by the larger tiger shark because of this. The female gives birth to live kids, usually less than 5. Specimens of this species can become up to 25 years old.

   Greenland shark

T he latin name (Somnius microcephalus) implies that one is dealing with a stupid sleepwalker. The name does make sense with the experience of its somnambulistic behaviour, in any way. One has to keep in mind that it lives in cold waters, such as the Arctic Ocean and the North Atlantic Ocean(also Skagerrak and Kattegatt by way of exception) and consequently quite often under ice. Temperatures like these hardly has a promoting effect on the muscular activity of fishes. The length is usually 2 to 3 m, but specimens of 7,5 m have been found, as well. The weight can amount up to one ton by way of exception. The Greenland shark has got a large liver, rich on fat, for which it was hunted and caught. Greenland sharks (>80% of all Greenland sharks) has two parasites (Ommatakoita elongata) at the eyes, sucking nourishment out of them, one for each eye. In spite of it's activity level, it's still known to be a ravenous predator, perhaps mostly in historical connections. Its meat is poisonous in unprepared condition.

H ammerhead shark

T he hammerhead shark (Zygaena malleus)is known for and called after, its, for the animal world, unusal head shape, which is reminiscent of a hammer with the eyes at the very end of the striking areas. The function may be that the animal achieve a better ?stereo-vision? in its electromagnetic detection. It is known that the hammerhead shark is very good at finding animals that is hiding in the bottom sediment. The head shape may possibly have hydrodynamical advantages, as well. The hammerhead shark can be found here and there, once in a while outside of european coasts in the Atlantic Ocean, as well, but the water should preferably be varmer than 22 degrees Celsius. You can see hammerhead shark females in large shoals in the California bay some days. In the evening, the females group together in smaller flocks and goes out hunting. This in contrast to the males, who are loners. A shark female can give birth to up to 30 live kids. These are born with the head first, and the side outgrowths yielding backwards during the course of birth. The length of a hammerhead shark is 3 to 4 m.

   Blue shark

T he blue shark (Prionace (Carcharias) glauca) is usually 1-5-2,5 m long, but there is information about lengths of 7,5 m. It is relatively slim, and not so heavy because of this, but it can achieve speeds of 60 km per hour. The weight is usually around 50 kg. The blue shark can be found everywhere where the water is somewhat warm. At night, blue sharks gather outside the coast of California to hunt octopussy (opalkalmarer) when they have their mating season. Blue sharks can be seen outside the north eastern coast of the USA during may and april, when they gather there to spawn. After the mating, the female keep the seed and egg separated in her body for approxamately one year, and it takes yet another year before she gives birth to the live kids after a fully developed pregnancy. During the two years, she has relocated to the waters outside Spain and Portugal, while the males stays around America.

   Whale shark

T he whale shark (Rhincodon typus) is the world's largest, now living species of fish. The largest specimen that was caught was 18,5 m long and weighed 43 tons. It was also a whale shark that was responsible for the discovery of the largest egg in the world, which was 27 cm long and 15 cm broad. The egg might have been aborted since the whale shark gives birth to live kids.Whale sharks lives in warm waters nearly all over the earth. The feed on plankton and is consequently not dangerous for man. On the contrary, they are quite peaceful, which is exploited by the primitive fishermen of south-eastern Asia, since they kill the whales in the most ferocious way. At first one man swims down and hurt the animal as good as he can with a small harpoon and returns to the surface. After that he swims down once again and forces a rope through the jaws of the whale shark with a device. Attached to the rope, the whale is towed towards land and cut up. The whale shark is grey-black or dark brown. Its gills is of a palpable size, which is necessary as the water is consumed through the mouth and comes out through the gills, while the plankton food is filtered off. Whale sharks control the buoyancy of the body when an opportunity arises by swallowing, alternatively belching air forth. They gain sexual maturity after reaching a length of 9 meters. These sharks usually live one by one, but it occurs that they gather in flocks with up to 100 individuals. A whale shark can become older that 60 years.

   Kåre Andersson
 

  
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