Come watch our video from Betty the Black Tip Reef Shark!
Posts Tagged With: sharks
Chompy on Chompers!
Chompy is back to talk about shark teeth! Shark teeth are one cool adaptation these fish have!
Shark Week- Shark Basics
Chompy the shark is hanging out with us and sharing some fun facts about shark with us! Today- he’s talking the basics.
Wear Your Bonnet
Can you imagine a shark wearing a bonnet? That would be funny looking- not to mention hard to swim with- hahaha! Today we are meeting a relative of the hammerhead- the bonnethead shark!!
Bonnethead Shark Fun Facts:
- Bonnetheads are smaller sharks- they can grow up to 59 inches- about the length of a refrigerator.
- They call estuaries, bays and sandy bottoms their home.
- Their heads are more rounded than that of the larger hammerhead species.
- Like all other sharks they are carnivores.
- Bonnethead sharks live in small groups.
- They can live up to 15 years.
These smaller hammerheads are so cool. A recent study by scientists may suggest that they eat sea grass, which would make them omnivores! Wow! That would be super cool!
Know Your Sharks
Today we have four coloring sheets for you in our continued series- know your sharks! So head on over to the craft cabin and grab something to color with and get to know your sharks!
Pocket Sharks have two pouches or pockets, one on each side of their body in front of their fins. Scientists are unsure of their purpose.
Bamboo Sharks are mostly nocturnal and only grow up to 37 inches long.
Zebra sharks lose their stripes as they grow. Adults are actually covered in spots!
These large sharks (up to 14 ft) often rest on the ocean floor. They pump water over their gills using spiracles to pull in water.
Finding the Sandbar
We are heading out on the S.S E&E to meet a shark today! Often when you are at the beach, you’ll see where more sand has accumulated and even sticks out of the water- this is called sandbar! Well today we are meeting the sandbar shark! They are found around bays, estuaries and sandy bottoms.
Sandbar Shark Fun Facts:
- These streamline sharks can grow up to 8 feet long.
- Sandbar sharks have large dorsal fins.
- These carnivores eat mollusks, crustaceans and fish.
- Sandbar sharks are also called brown sharks.
- They are listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN.
- Sandbar sharks give birth to live young!
These relatives of the bull shark are not aggressive like their cousins. Like other sharks, they are threatened by humans- due to shark finning, pollution and over fishing.
Sharky Shark Shark
We strapped on our snorkel equipment to go exploring! We spotted so many fish, but we were most excited to see the black tip reef shark! These sleek predators are common inhabitants of the reef!
Location: Raja Ampat Islands
Black Tip Reef Shark Fun Facts:
- Blacktip Reef Sharks are the most common shark in coral reefs of the Pacific Ocean.
- Blacktip reef sharks have streamlined bodies with black color on the tips of their fins.
- They are powerful are strong and quick swimmers.
- Blacktip reef sharks must swim to breath. The motion moves the water over their gills that extract oxygen from the water.
- They can be curious of divers.
Blacktip reef sharks are fast! They are very important in their coral reef habitats, because they’re apex predators (top of the food chain). Blacktip reef sharks look so sleek and smooth! Do you think they feel that way? Nope- they feel like sandpaper! Neat, huh?
It’s a Ray! It’s a Bat Ray!
We wrapped up our last day on the west coast diving and we found this amazing ray. Rays are such graceful and neat fish and we were super excited to meet the bat ray!
Location: Kelp forest
Bat Ray Fun Facts:
- Bat rays belong in the eagle ray family.
- They use their pectoral fins to swim and to stir-up sand and reveal prey.
- When these rays “dig” out holes from the sand, they leave holes that other fish, like the horn shark use to hide in.
- Bat rays have strong crushing plates that they use to crush hard shells.
- Bat rays give live birth. The pups have the venomous spine, but it is soft and covered in a sheath to protect the mother.
- Bat rays have spiracles that move water over their gills when they are resting on the ocean floor.
- Bat rays are mostly solitary.
Wow! We so enjoyed watching the rays swim so gracefully in the waters just off the coast! We couldn’t have picked a better last day! We did miss many animals though; that just means we’ll have to come back! For now, we’ll head back to our HQs at the University and get our things back for the Serengeti! That’s right, we’re going to Africa and back to Ellie’s home! We are so excited!!!
One Swell Shark
We went diving again today in the kelp forest. Our goal was to meet some of the fish who call this special place home! First up is one cool shark! Don’t worry- they are pretty shy and small :)!
Location: Kelp forest
Swell Shark Fun Facts:
- Swell sharks get their name from their unique defense mechanism. They grab their tail in their mouth and pump air or water in their stomach and swell to double their normal size.
- They let out a barking noise when releasing the excess air.
- Swell sharks are not strong swimmers.
- They spend their days hiding in caves or crevices.
- Swell sharks are mostly nocturnal and venture out to find prey.
- They lay eggs, called mermaids purses. The eggs are attached to hard structure to stay in play.
- Swell sharks are biofluorescent. They absorb light electromagnetic light waves and re-emit as a different color. This neat adaptation was only discovered a few years ago.
We dove at two separate times -once during the day and once at night. We knew the little swell shark would be out at night. We were so excited to spot on swimming in the water. They are very shy and often when they see divers, freeze. It’s a shark that plays opossum- hehehe!
We Go Diving in the Galapagos
Location: Galapagos Islands
- These smaller sharks get their names from the white tips on their dorsal fins and tail fins.
- Whitetip reef sharks hide out in rocks during the day.
- The sharks will share caves during the day.
- They often chase their prey into crevices. Their narrow snouts and rear sitting dorsal fins help them get in to tight spots to get food.
- Whitetip reef sharks can live up to 25 years.
- They tend to be shy sharks.
We did a nice dive at near dusk so we could spot these elusive and shy sharks. They didn’t want to stick around when they saw us- but at least we caught a glimpse or two! We love the creatures you find in the oceans!