Shark nursery discovery off New York


This video from the USA says about itself:

27 June 2014

Another exciting Shark Academy introduces viewers to the Sand Tiger shark, an animal with a confusing name and the peculiar reproductive strategy known as “intrauterine cannibalism.”

From Blue York in the USA:

Shark Nursery Discovered Off New York

January 5, 2016

Turns out juvenile sand tiger sharks cut their (many) teeth in the New York area.

Scientists and veterinarians working for WCS‘s New York Aquarium have discovered a nursery ground for the fearsome-looking but non-aggressive fish in the near shore waters of Long Island’s Great South Bay.

“Sand tiger shark pups are not born here but migrate from down south to spend the summers as juveniles in New York’s coastal waters,” said Dr. Merry Camhi, Director of the NY Seascape program, WCS’s local marine conservation program.

The Great South Bay shark nursery provides juvenile sand tiger sharks ranging from several months to five years in age with a place to feed and grow. A nursery also gives juvenile sharks protection from predators, including other sharks.

After birth off the southeastern United States (sand tiger sharks give birth to live young as opposed to laying eggs), the juvenile sharks migrate north in the spring and spend the summer in New York waters before returning south in the fall.

Only a handful of sand tiger shark nursery grounds have been identified, one of which is in the waters of Massachusetts.

The discovery was made by researchers who have collected a wealth of information on sharks in local waters over the past four years through the use of acoustic tags, devices that enable scientists to remotely track marine animals as the animals move about.

There are still many unknowns about the nursery. Scientists are not sure how much of the bay is used by these sharks, the number of young sharks in the bay each summer, or what the sharks are eating.

Ninja lanternshark discovered in Pacific ocean


This video says about itself:

23 December 2015

In the Pacific Ocean, near the coasts of Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua, scientists discovered a new species of shark: Ninja Lanternshark. The species was named Etmopterus benchley, in honor of Peter Benchley, author of Jaws. Etmopterus benchley is a small shark, growing up to 50 cm, and lives at depths ranging between 836 and 1443 meters. In the darks of the ocean, Etmopterus benchleyi emits a faint glow.

By Miriam Kramer, 23 December 2015:

‘Ninja lanternshark’ found lurking in the Pacific Ocean

A newly-discovered species of shark with jet black skin and a faint glow is a master of stealth.

The shark, appropriately given the common name “Ninja Lanternshark,” lives in the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Central America in waters from
2,742 feet to 4,734 feet, or 836 to 1443 meters, deep.

The animal owes its unique name to the young cousins of Vicky Vásquez, one of the scientists on the team that detailed the new shark finding in a study published in the Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation.

See also: 5 ways you can track sharks live from your computer

“The common name we have suggested, Ninja Lanternshark, refers to the shark’s color which is a uniform sleek black as well as the fact that it has fewer photophores [organs that emit light] than other species of lanternsharks,” Vásquez told Mashable via email.

“Based on that, we felt those unique characteristics would make this species stealthy like a ninja. The common name was actually proposed by my little cousins (ages 8 to 14 yrs. old).”

While glowing in the ocean may not sound like a great way to keep yourself hidden, scientists think it works well for lanternsharks like the Ninja.

According to Vásquez, lanternsharks glow enough to hide their shadows, likely as a form of camouflage.

Scientists are still trying to learn more about Ninja Lanternsharks. So far, researchers have found about eight specimens of the new shark, with the first discovered in 2010.

If researchers are able to study more of these sharks up-close they might be able to answer some basic questions about their biology.

“If more were found, we could really start to explore biology details of this shark like, ‘What is the maximum size?’ Our biggest specimen is only 515 millimeters long, but since it had eggs we know that this was an adult size,” Vásquez said.

“However, we did not find an adult male. If anyone is working off the coast of Central America (on the Pacific Ocean side), they could certainly help by letting us know if they find another one.”

The shark’s scientific name — Etmoterus benchleyi — also has a fun origin story.

It was named for Peter Benchley, the writer of Jaws.

“Although a lot of people are aware of the negative backlash that the movie created for sharks, most are not aware that Mr. Benchley took positive action by creating the Benchley Awards, which seeks to recognize people that have made lasting contributions to ocean conservation,” Vásquez said.

Vásquez refers to the Ninja Lanternshark as a “lost shark,” which are species of shark that get “overshadowed” by other, more charismatic sharks like the Great White.

From 2000 to 2009 scientists “were discovering about 18 new species of Chondrichthyans (sharks and their relatives like stingrays, skates and ghost sharks) every year,” Vásquez said.

Small-spotted catshark baby born soon?


This 2014 video from Ecomare museum on Texel island in the Netherlands shows small-spotted catshark embryos moving inside their eggs.

Translated from the blog of Jedilda Sluis, employee of the Ecomare aquarium, 24 December 2015:

There is a small-spotted catshark in the making! It is still a very small embryo, but one can already discern its tail. I went to take a look at the brittle stars that are in the same wall aquarium as our shark eggs when my eye caught movement in one of the four egg capsules. What a surprise! Such an egg case is fairly transparent; if you look carefully then you can see what’s happening inside. I even think there is one more egg with signs of life.

Basking shark in North Sea, video


This 16 December 2015 video is by Richard Bosch in the Netherlands.

It shows a basking shark, swimming near gas platform L/11B, about 55 kilometer north of Terschelling island.

Save our sharks, Curaçao


This 21 October 2015 video, recorded in Blijdorp zoo in Rotterdam in the Netherlands, shows shark researcher Ms Georgina Wiersma. She told about the ‘Save our sharks’ project of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance. It is about conservation for the sharks swimming around the Caribbean islands Aruba, Curaçao, Bonaire, Saba, St. Eustatius and St. Maarten.

Save our sharks, Curaçao

This photo shows Tadzio Bervoets, Irene Kingma and Frensel Mercelina of Save our sharks in Curaçao. They were interviewed this morning on Dutch Vroege Vogels radio.

They aim at better protection for fish species swimming around Curaçao; like Caribbean reef sharks, lemon sharks and eagle rays.

This video is called Jonathan Bird examines one of the world’s most photographed–yet least studied–sharks, the Caribbean Reef shark.

Albatross, shark kill each other


This video, recirded on the sub-Antarctic Crozet islands, says about itself:

Do albatrosses have personalities?

12 jan. 2015

Surprisingly, albatrosses do have different personalities. A bright blue plastic cow is used as an albatross personality test, helping scientists to discover how personality affects success in rearing chicks.

From the blog of the Te Papa Tongarewa museum in New Zealand, with photos there:

Albatross vs Shark

Posted 4 December 2015 by Alan Tennyson

This beauty and the beast tale did not end happily ever after for either character.

Te Papa staff member Hokimate Harwood collected a rather smelly deceased albatross on Wellington’s south coast on 15 November.

A Shark Tale

In the lab we were astounded to see a shark’s tail protruding from its neck. When we cut the dead bird open we found that the shark was intact and reached the entire length of the bird’s body cavity! The shark was completely undigested – no doubt it had been protected by its tough, sandpaper-like skin – and we speculate that the bird choked on the fish.

A little shark that can take on a whale

This was no ordinary looking shark – it was a seal shark (Dalatias licha), a worldwide species with a particularly vicious set of teeth distributed in a circular arrangement in its jaws. It uses these teeth for bandsawing chunks out of creatures as big as whales. A cousin, the aptly named cookiecutter shark (Isistius brasiliensis), has similarly delightful habits, including sometimes munching on submarines and humans! We looked inside the shark’s gut also but there was no evidence that it had been eating the albatross from the inside.

An untimely end for bird and shark

The unlucky bird was a northern royal albatross (Diomedea sanfordi) – one of the world’s largest seabirds and the species famous for nesting at Taiaroa Head, Dunedin (although its main colonies are on the Chatham Islands). The graceful flying ability of albatrosses is not matched by their less wholesome diet, which consists largely of scavenged food, such as dead squid and fish, found floating on the surface. As seal sharks are a deep water species, we suspect that the hungry bird gulped down the shark which it found as waste from a trawler, and thus both bird and shark met an untimely end.

What happens next?

Te Papa will skeletonise both specimens for its permanent research collections. These will be used mainly for identifying fossil remains. Some of the oldest known fossils of a seal shark are from the Eocene of New Zealand – c. 40 million years ago.

Thanks to Tom Shultz and Colin Miskelly for their assistance, Andrew Stewart for identifying the shark, and Hokimate for bringing in the unfortunate creatures.

Young shark beached in the Netherlands


This video says about itself:

16 May 2014

The small-spotted catshark or lesser spotted dogfish, Scyliorhinus canicula, is a cat shark of the family Scyliorhinidae found on the continental shelves and uppermost slopes off Norway and the British Isles south to Senegal. Behavioral analysis showed that S. canicula uses a consistent behaviour pattern termed ‘scale rasping’, as a feeding mechanism.

The sharks uses this mechanism by anchoring food items near their tail so that their rapid head and jaw movements can tear away bite-sized pieces from their prey. They are able to anchor food items near their body due to the tooth-like structures that are embedded in their skin. These structures normally assist with protection from predators, parasites and abrasions to the skin. This type of feeding in S. canicula can also be done due to their elongated body morphology.

Translated from Ecomare museum on Texel island in the Netherlands:

Dec 1, 2015 – A special find on the beach of Den Helder. Remon Arents last weekend spotted a small-spotted catshark in the surf. It was a young specimen. Remon estimated the animal at 40 centimeters. Adult small-spotted catsharks can be one meter long. Small-spotted catsharks are small sharks, harmless for people. They also live in the North Sea. Yet it is not so often that one washes ashore.