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The Blog Aquatic

News, opinions, photos and facts from Ocean Conservancy

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Shark Attack Survivors Fight to Save Sharks

Posted On August 15, 2012 by

tiger shark

Copyright Matthew D. Potenski 2010

Eight years ago, Debbie Salamone was attacked by a shark in the shallow waters of Florida’s Cape Canaveral National Seashore. The shark severed her Achilles tendon and led her to question her two-decade career as an environmental reporter.

After surgery and months of recovery, she came to realize that if she loved the ocean, she had to love everything in it – even sharks.

Sharks play an important role in the ocean ecosystem, Salamone explains. Removing these top predators – whether through overfishing or harmful practices like shark-finning – can have dire consequences that ripple throughout the ecosystem.

“I realized my unique position: Who could better speak up for sharks than myself and people like me?” she says.

Continue reading »

What’s Your Shark IQ?

Posted On August 15, 2012 by

These hammerheads may be easy to recognize, but our shark trivia questions below could stump you. Credit: Naomi Silver.

How much do you know about sharks? Test your knowledge with our short quiz:

Which shark is the fastest?
When it comes to speed, shortfin mako sharks are like the Roadrunner, clocked at more than 30 miles an hour in pursuit of prey but suspected of zooming along even faster.

True or false? Sharks have a sixth sense.
True. A network of small, jelly-filled pores along their snouts called the ampullae of Lorenzini pick up on the electrical fields created by the contracting muscles of a swimming fish or a beating heart. This helps sharks locate prey buried in sand. Continue reading »

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Shark Bites: How Dangerous Are They?

Posted On August 14, 2012 by

Click the image for a high-res version.

The height of the summer beach season means many things: vacations, sleeping in, getting a tan; but for some ocean-goers, one fear can wind up taking over… Sharks.

Over the years sharks have been sensationalized as cold-blooded man-eaters. Peter Benchley’s “Jaws” certainly did a number on humanity when Spielberg brought this terrifying, Megalodon-Great White hybrid to life in the 1975 film adaptation. Since then, sharks have continued to sing a bittersweet symphony in our lives. We are terrified of these animals, yet completely fascinated by their behavior, size, and power.

While sharks maintain their status at the top of the food chain as the oceans’ greatest predator, humans are not on their preferred menu. There are many objects and activities that we encounter much more regularly that are more likely to kill us than the bite of a shark, outlined in our latest graphic above.

For more information about these statistics visit the International Shark Attack File, or Buzzfeed for a leaner version.

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Tupac Tribute Gives Sharks a Better Rap

Posted On July 17, 2012 by

KOOL KID KREYOLA – ME AND MY SHARK FIN from Spencer Keeton Cunningham on Vimeo.

Sharks get a bad rap. Fortunately, Kool Kid Kreyola aims to turn their reputation around and show the world how misunderstood these demonized creatures are with his music video for “Me and My Shark Fin.” The song, set to the tune of Tupac’s “Me and My Girlfriend,” dispels the stories that sharks actively hunt humans, explaining, “I don’t mean to bite a surfer / I’m a, I’m a, I’m a underwater predator / just doing my thing.” Check out the complete lyrics, brilliantly annotated by shark expert David Shiffman, here.

Now, if we can just get the Tupac hologram to cover this version…

Pearls of Wisdom: Sharks Answer

Posted On May 27, 2012 by

Credit: Bryan Clark

TRUE: One of the rarest sharks is called a megamouth shark.
TRUE: Some sharks can increase their size by swallowing large amounts of water.
FALSE: Like dolphins, sharks do not have scales.

Sharks are covered with small, tooth-like scales called dermal denticles. Sharks feel smooth to the touch because their scales are designed to reduce drag. Megamouth sharks and swell sharks are both real animals! Megamouths sound scary, but they’re filter feeders and prefer plankton. Swell sharks, as their name implies, can swell up to twice their normal body size just by swallowing water. What’s your favorite shark?