Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Sharks and cats have something in common

Hi Sea Fans!

It's been a while...busy busy busy.  I hope you all had a fabulous Halloween and those of you in South Africa, I hope you're enjoying the sunshine.  Those of you living up North, please build me a snowman with the first snow...and send me a pic of it!  It would be great if it was sea-themed too!

Well, I've been very busy with shark work so I thought I'd tell you guys one or two interesting facts:

Reflective catshark eye.    Photo: Ocean Explorer, NOAA
Did you know that when a light shines on a catshark's eyes, they glow—similar to a cat's eyes. That's because cats and sharks have special light-sensitive eyes designed for hunting in near-darkness. The shark has a reflective layer of cells at the back of its eyes called the ‘tapetum lucidum’ (carpet of light) which allows it to see underwater in low light, and 10 times better than humans can!

Greenland shark eye parasite.  Photo source: Real Monstrosities
Did you know that the Greenland shark, which is found in the seemingly lonely Arctic, can be found with a "buddy" - a parasite that lives on the shark's eye and eats away at it. This parasite can even cause blindness, but most sharks seem unaffected by having a permanent eye tassle!

Shortfin mako shark.
Did you know that the Mako shark can reach speeds of up to 100km/hour AND jump out of the water repeatedly (so it's not just Great Whites that can do it!)

Jumping Mako.     Source: Herald Sun
Did you know that the Tiger shark is also known as the garbage can with fins because of all the weird things that they've found in their stomachs...like number plates!

Tiger shark.                   Photo: Albert Kok.

Display of Tiger shark stomach contents at the California Academy of Sciences.  Photo: iveneverdonethat.com

So now that you know a little more about sharks, I hope you're even more fascinated with them.

Have a great week Sea Fans and chat soon!

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