Shark senses research


This video says about itself:

7 October 2016

In the Bahamas, Jonathan joins shark biologist Dr. Stephen Kajiura from Florida Atlantic University to perform an experiment which demonstrates how the electrosensory system of sharks works.

JONATHAN BIRD‘S BLUE WORLD is an Emmy Award-winning underwater science/adventure program that airs on public television in the United States.

Great white shark invades cage, doesn’t harm diver inside


This video from Mexico says about itself:

Great White Shark Cage Breach Accident

13 October 2016

**This may not be appropriate for our younger viewers.**

This is not our usual kids content and Gabe and Garrett did not go on this trip, this video is from my trip to Guadalupe Island (I’m their dad).

On a recent great white shark cage diving trip we experienced a very rare event, a shark breaching the side of the cage. What might appear to be an aggressive great white shark trying to attack the cage, this is not the case. These awesome sharks are biting at large chunks of tuna tied to a rope. When a great white shark lunges and bites something, it is temporarily blinded. They also cannot swim backwards.

So this shark lunged at the bait, accidentally hit the side of the cage, was most likely confused and not able to swim backwards, it thrust forward and broke the metal rail of the cage.

There was a single diver inside the cage. He ended up outside the bottom of the cage, looking down on two great white sharks. The diver is a very experienced dive instructor, remained calm, and when the shark thrashed back outside the cage, the diver calmly swam back up and climbed out completely uninjured.

The boat crew did an outstanding job, lifting the top of the cage, analyzing the frenzied situation, and the shark was out after a few long seconds. Everyone on the boat returned to the cages the next day, realizing this was a very rare event. The boat owner, captain, and crew are to be commended for making what could’ve been a tragic event into a happy ending. I’m sure God and luck had a bit to do with it too!

I want to return next year for another great white shark adventure!

Small-spotted catshark swimming off Ireland


This video says about itself:

[Small-spotted] Catshark swimming in Howth Harbour in Dublin, Ireland

29 August 2016

[Small-spotted] catshark is a species of shark that can be seen in the sea and ocean that surrounds Ireland and the Northeast Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. The catshark is a predatory shark and it likes to hunt and eat a variety of aquatic creatures. This catshark found its way out off the Irish Sea and into Howth Harbour in Dublin, Ireland. It found a great place to hunt and catch fish when it gets hungry, a predatory shark like this will have no problem catching fish in Howth Harbour.

Shark egg with living embryo found


This video says about itself:

Small-spotted catshark embryo is moving inside the egg

5 December 2014

… Video displays how it is swimming and waving his tail inside the egg.

Copyright note:

Video is created by me, soundtrack is a classic song “Song of the Indian Guest” created by composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov who died in 1908 (more than 100 years ago).

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Fishermen just off the coast of Schiermonnikoog have found a shark‘s egg containing a living embryo. The RTV Noord website shows a video with the wriggling baby shark.

It is an egg of a small-spotted catshark, a small shark of about one meter long. The small-spotted catshark is common in the North Sea and the discovery of a shark’s egg is not so special, but a living embryo is.

“We sometimes find empty egg capsules on the beach, but I’ve never seen a live shark in an egg,” says Marijke Barhorst of the Visitors Centre of Schiermonnikoog National Park.

The visitor center staff have put the shark‘s egg inside a culture dish in a saltwater aquarium, hoping that it will hatch.

Fish sticking to sharks, video


This video says about itself:

19 August 2016

Sharks and many other large ocean animals have sucker-equipped fish called remoras sticking to them. What are the remoras doing? Do they harm the shark? Jonathan goes on a mission to investigate remoras and their role in the food web. He even sticks one on himself.

Greenland sharks may live 400 years


This video says about itself:

11 August 2016

Greenland sharks are the new record holders for longest-living vertebrates after a new study put their maximum lifespan at an incredible 400 years.

Learn more about this story here.

From Science magazine:

Greenland shark may live 400 years, smashing longevity record

By Elizabeth Pennisi

Aug. 11, 2016, 2:00 PM

Imagine having to wait a century to have sex. Such is the life of the Greenland shark—a 5-meter-long predator that may live more than 400 years, according to a new study, making it the longest lived vertebrate by at least a century. So it should come as no surprise that the females are not ready to reproduce until after they hit their 156th birthday.

The longevity of these sharks is “astonishing,” says Michael Oellermann, a cold-water physiologist at Loligo Systems in Viborg, Denmark, who was not involved with the work. That’s particularly true because oceans are quite dangerous places, he notes, where predators, food scarcity, and disease can strike at any time.

Greenland sharks (Somniosus microcephalus) had been rumored to be long-lived. In the 1930s, a fisheries biologist in Greenland tagged more than 400, only to discover that the sharks grow only about 1 centimeter a year—a sure sign that they’re in it for the long haul given how large they get. Yet scientists had been unable to figure out just how many years the sharks last.

Intrigued, marine biologist John Steffensen at the University of Copenhagen collected a piece of backbone from a Greenland shark captured in the North Atlantic, hoping it would have growth rings he could count to age the animal. He found none, so he consulted Jan Heinemeier, an expert in radiocarbon dating at Aarhus University in Denmark. Heinemeier suggested using the shark’s eye lenses instead. His aim was not to count growth rings, but instead to measure the various forms of carbon in the lenses, which can give clues to an animal’s age.

Then came the hard part. Steffensen and his graduate student Julius Nielsen spent several years collecting dead Greenland sharks, most of them accidently ensnared in trawling nets used to catch other types of fish. After that, they employed an unusual technique: They looked for high amounts of carbon-14, a heavy isotope left behind by nuclear bomb testing in the mid-1950s. Extra carbon from the resulting “bomb pulse” had infiltrated ocean ecosystems by the early 1960s, meaning that inert body parts formed during this time—in particular eye lenses—also have more of the heavy element. Using this technique, the researchers concluded that two of their sharks—both less than 2.2 meters long—were born after the 1960s. One other small shark was born right around 1963.

The team used these well-dated sharks as starting points for a growth curve that could estimate the ages of the other sharks based on their sizes. To do this, they started with the fact that newborn Greenland sharks are 42 centimeters long. They also relied on a technique researchers have long used to calculate the ages of sediments—say in an archaeological dig—based on both their radiocarbon dates and how far below the surface they happen to be. In this case, researchers correlated radiocarbon dates with shark length to calculate the age of their sharks. The oldest was 392 plus or minus 120 years, they report today in Science. That makes Greenland sharks the longest lived vertebrates on record by a huge margin; the next oldest is the bowhead whale, at 211 years old. And given the size of most pregnant females—close to 4 meters—they are at least 150 years old before they have young, the group estimates.

Oellermann is impressed not only with how old the sharks are, but also how Nielsen and his colleagues figured out their ages. “Who would have expected that nuclear bombs [one day] could help to determine the life span of marine sharks?” he asks.

He and others think cold water helps lengthen the animals’ lives by slowing down their growth and biochemical activity. “Lower metabolic rate plays a big role,” agrees Shawn Xu, a geneticist at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. “But that’s not the whole story.” Three years ago, his work in nematodes showed that cold can also activate antiaging genes that help an animal better fold proteins, get rid of DNA-damaging molecules, and even fight off infections more effectively, extending life span. The cold-activated molecules “are evolutionarily conserved” across the animal kingdom, and thus these pathways very likely exist in these sharks, too, he predicts.

Paul Butler isn’t surprised that frigid waters host such old creatures. In 2013, the sclerochronologist (a scientist who studies the growth of hard tissues in invertebrates) at Bangor University in the United Kingdom and his colleagues described a 500-year-old ocean quahog (Arctica islandica), a chowder clam found in the North Atlantic. Still, even though two multicentenarian species have turned up in the North Atlantic in just a few years, Butler is skeptical that there are many more out there awaiting discovery. “It won’t be that we won’t have more surprises,” he says, “but I regard these [two] as exceptions.”

Sharks on video


This video says about itself:

Chillin’ Lemon Shark | JONATHAN BIRD‘S BLUE WORLD Extra

29 July 2016

In this fun behind-the-scenes extra, Jonathan talks about Lemon sharks and one particular shark that decided to take a rest right in the middle of a Tiger shark feed!

This video says about itself:

5 August 2016

Books and magazines often say that Tiger sharks will eat anything. They have been referred to as the “Garbage cans of the ocean.” Multiple references have been made to them eating license plates of all things. In this exciting episode, Jonathan goes out to the Bahamas to see if a Tiger shark will eat a GoPro camera. Then he tries to put a camera on a shark and turn the shark into the team’s newest cameraman…I mean camerashark!