Monday, June 21, 2010

Sea Monsters

Hi Sea Fans!

What an amazing week last week was.  I got to attend a talk by Dr Eugenie Clark, the "Shark Lady"!  She's 88 years old and is still diving.  The day of her talk, she had been in 15 degree (celsius) water to check out the seven gill sharks of the Cape waters in South Africa. 

A Sevengill Shark.  (Photo by: G. Zsilavecz)

Wow, I hope I'm like her when I reach the age of 88.  Not only is she a friendly and cheerful person, she has amazing stories to tell about what's she's done in her lifetime.  She has written 3 books, over 160 scientific and popular articles, including 12 National Geographic features AND done 71 submersible dives (this is like a mini submarine that scientists use to dive deeper and longer to do research on the animals of the oceans).  It's amazing what some marine biologists get up to!

Her talk was all about the monsters of the sea, but by monsters, she doesn't mean the Loch Ness type of monster, but rather what people may think look, act or feed like monsters.  Some of the animals she showed us were: the Cookie Cutter Shark that has an amazing set of teeth (it bites into its prey and then twists so that it cuts out a round piece of flesh);

The head of a Cookie Cutter Shark.

The strange rubbery lip and amazing teeth of the Cookie Cutter Shark.

the hooded octopus that looks like it dances when it swims and many people like to call it "Dumbo" because of it's looks;

Deep sea "Dumbo" Octopus.  (Photo: Discovery Channel)

 a huge salp that looks like a long jelly worm but is actually not a jellyfish but rather more closely related to vertebrates (animals with true backbones);

An example of a Salp. (Photo: Dive Matrix)

the megamouth shark with its HUGE jaws;

see the ARKive site for a picture @ megamouth-shark/megachasma-pelagios/image-G5956.html

the basking shark;

A Basking Shark next to a diver showing off it's plankton-feeding mouth.

and the Great White Shark which everyone knows.

So it was a fascinating week and I got to see photos of animals I'd only ever heard about.  Good stuff!
I hope you all have a great week Sea Fans and I'll chat to you soon.
}(  *)8


  1. I saw your link on the Aquatic Info board and had to take a peek. As a child I remember the first book about sharks I ever read. It talked about Dr. Eugenie Clark and her success with getting Lemon Sharks to ring a bell for food. Right then and there I knew I wanted to study Elasmos. She's my hero! I imagine your book will do the same for many other children :) Good luck!

  2. Thank you. I hope you'll tell us one of your stories some time. I'd love to post interesting stories from other aquarists on this site too.