Pakistani fishermen saved young whale shark


This video says about itself:

21 August 2017

WWF-Pakistan trained fisherman captain Ali Akbar along with his crew safely released a 7.5 feet juvenile whale shark caught in the gillnet, recently. The fishermen were carrying a fishing operation about 2 kilometres north of Churna Island, Balochistan. This is not the first time that a whale shark was rescued by fishermen, however, their pups seldom survive during the entanglement or die even in the rescue process. The baby whale shark was entangled in the net placed for catching tuna in the waters. When the crew members first tried to disentangle it [in the water] … the animal did not show any body movement, hence, it was heaved on board. As it was freed from the net, the baby started to move slightly. To the utter surprise and jubilation of the fishermen, the juvenile whale shark came to life and encircled the boat before disappearing in the deep sea.

Since the start of the Observer Programme of WWF-Pakistan in October 2012, a total of 61 cases of whale sharks have been documented. Before the programme, some fishermen used to kill whale sharks for liver oil if they get entangled in their fishing gear. Even though the population of whale sharks in Pakistani waters seems to be stable, however, it is extremely prone to frequent entanglement in fishing gear, habitat degradation and marine pollution.

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New lantern shark species discovery


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 benchleyi, in honor of Peter Benchley, author of Jaws. Etmopterus benchleyi 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.

And now, a relative of this small luminescent shark has been found.

From Florida Atlantic University in the USA:

New shark species glows in the dark, weighs about 2 pounds and has a huge nose

July 25, 2017

Summary: Just as “Shark Week” is gearing up, researchers have discovered a new species of shark 17 years in the making. Like finding a needle in a haystack, it was well worth the wait as this elusive creature is yet to be seen in the wild.

Like finding a needle in a haystack, a team of scientists has discovered a new species of shark measuring less than a foot long and weighing under 2 pounds full-grown. This miniature, “glow-in-the-dark” shark is a member of the Lanternshark family (Squaliformes: Etmopteridae), which was serendipitously found 1,000 feet below the Pacific Ocean off the coast of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. It has taken more than 17 years to identify this new species (Etmopterus lailae) since it was first discovered but was well worth the wait as this elusive creature is yet to be seen in the wild.

It often takes many years to identify a new species from the time it is discovered to the moment the news is shared with the scientific community. Results of the discovery of Etmopterus lailae were published in the journal Zootaxa. Stephen M. Kajiura, Ph.D., study co-author, a professor of biological sciences and director of the Elasmobranch Research Laboratory in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science at Florida Atlantic University, is among the team of scientists who painstakingly worked on this project, which began while he was still in graduate school at the University of Hawaii.

“There are only about 450 known species of sharks worldwide and you don’t come across a new species all that often,” said Kajiura. “A large part of biodiversity is still unknown, so for us to stumble upon a tiny, new species of shark in a gigantic ocean is really thrilling. This species is very understudied because of its size and the fact that it lives in very deep water. They are not easily visible or accessible like so many other sharks.”

At first, Kajiura and his collaborators did not realize that they had discovered a new species until they submitted their research findings to a journal. The reviewer told them that the shark was not what they originally thought it was and that it might be a new species. Kajiura worked with David A. Ebert, Ph.D., study author, a taxonomist and program director of the Pacific Shark Research Center at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories in California, to identify this new species, now housed in the Bernice P. Bishop Museum in Hawaii.

Identifying the Etmopterus lailae required an extensive list of measurements, diligent categorization and thorough comparisons with other museum specimens.

“The unique features and characteristics of this new species really sets it apart from the other Lanternsharks,” said Kajiura. “For one thing, it has a strange head shape and an unusually large and bulgy snout where its nostrils and olfactory organs are located. These creatures are living in a deep sea environment with almost no light so they need to have a big sniffer to find food.”

Some of the other distinctive characteristics of this new species are its flank markings that go forward and backward on their bellies, a naked patch without scales on the underside of its snout, as well as internal differences such as the number of vertebrae they have as well as fewer teeth than the other sharks. Like other Lanternsharks, the Etmopterus lailae is bioluminescent and the flanks on the bottom of its belly glow in the dark. These markings on its belly and tail also were specific to this new species.

There are a number of hypotheses for why Lanternsharks glow in the dark including mate recognition to ensure they are mating with the right species, serving as a form of camouflage to protect them from predators in the deep sea and using bioluminescence to act as a lure to attract little fish or shrimp.

“The research team’s discovery of a new shark species is evidence of how much is still undiscovered in our world,” said Ata Sarajedini, Ph.D., dean of FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. “This new species is the tip of the iceberg for what else might be out there and the great potential for all of the yet-to-be undescribed species that still need to be explored.”

The team of scientists also include Yannis P. Papastamatiou, Ph.D., Florida International University and Bradley M. Wetherbee, Ph.D., University of Rhode Island.

In 2000, Kajiura and Wetherbee discovered the Trigonognathus kabeyai or the Viper Dogfish in Hawaii, which also is part of the Lanternshark family. The Viper Dogfish’s distinctive feature is its snake-like mouth filled with crooked nail-like teeth that sets them apart from other Lanternsharks.

Bamboo sharks, how they eat


This video from the Philippines says about itself:

Release of Bamboo Sharks or Chiloscyllium plagiosum in Cala

27 May 2012

A project of the Manila Ocean Park and partners. It is the release of 2nd generation aquarium reared CHILOSCYLLIIUM PLAGIOSUM.

From Brown University in the USA:

To swallow food, some sharks shrug their shoulders

July 18, 2017

Summary: Sophisticated X-ray imaging technology has allowed scientists to see that to keep food moving down toward the digestive tract, bamboo sharks use their shoulders to create suction.

Sharks don’t have tongues to move food through their mouths, so instead some use their… shoulders?

So say scientists who used a sophisticated X-ray movie technology to see, for the first time, that bamboo sharks swing their shoulders internally when they eat.

By pulling their “shoulder girdle” back, the sharks create the suction needed to draw food through the back of the mouth and further into the digestive tract, said Ariel Camp, a postdoctoral researcher at Brown University and lead author of the research published in Proceedings B, a Royal Society journal.

“They have this long pharynx, and they have to keep food moving down it,” Camp said. “We think this is part of a ‘hydrodynamic tongue.’ Sharks and fishes that don’t have a tongue control the motion of fluid within their mouths to manipulate food.”

That means bamboo sharks (Chiloscyllium plagiosum) use their shoulders, composed of a U-shaped girdle of cartilage and various attached muscles, for feeding as well as to control the front-most fins for locomotion, wrote Camp and colleagues from Brown, the University of Alaska at Anchorage and the University of Illinois.

To make the observations, Camp and colleagues used a technology developed at Brown called X-ray Reconstruction of Moving Morphology (XROMM). The system combines CT scans of the skeleton with high-speed, high-resolution X-ray movies, aided by tiny implanted metal markers, to create precise visualizations of how bones and muscles move within animals and people. In the study, the team used XROMM to watch three bamboo sharks feast on pieces of squid and herring.

Bamboo sharks are among several species of shark (and many other fish as well) that use suction to slurp up prey, for instance out of rocky crevices or the silt of the sea floor, Camp said. By opening their mouths widely and quickly, sometimes using muscles deep in their bodies, fish can create the suction needed to draw prey into their mouths.

But many scientists had suspected that the shoulder girdle played no role in shark suction-feeding. It’s not connected directly to the jaws or anything else in the head. While sharks use their pectoral fins to swim and even to position themselves over prey with something akin to a walking motion, the shoulder girdle was presumed to be still during feeding.

With the XROMM, however, the scientists could see inside the sharks as they fed and measured a surprising swing in the shoulder girdle of all three sharks tested. Just a fraction of a second after the mouth closed, the cartilage quickly rotated backward (from head to tail) by about 11 degrees.

Though this study only involved bamboo sharks, Camp said she suspects that other suction-feeding sharks also move their shoulders in this way. She further hypothesized that the research may help scientists inch toward answering the question of how the shoulder girdle evolved in sharks, and other fish, in the first place. The way fish skeletal structure evolved, for instance, can help explain how some creatures eventually became capable of making it to land.

“The girdle shows up [in the fossil record], around the time that jaws evolved,” Camp said. “We aren’t sure exactly what structures it evolved from or how that happened. Part of understanding that history is understanding what were the functions this structure had to carry out.”

Apparently it was eating as well as moving.

In addition to Camp, the paper’s other authors are Cheryl Wilga of the University of Alaska at Anchorage, Bradley Scott of the University of Illinois and Elizabeth Brainerd of Brown University. Wilga and Scott were at the University of Rhode Island when they collected the XROMM data at Brown.

The National Science Foundation (grants 1655756 and ISO1354189) and the University of Alaska at Anchorage funded the research.

See also here.

USA: Trump‘s frequent visits to Mar-a-Lago are also bad for sharks.

Sharks on videos


This National Geographic video from the USA says about itself:

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sharks | Earth LIVE

30 June 2017

Explore the underwater world of sharks and learn about the dangers these fascinating predators face.

EARTH LIVE AIRS SUNDAY JULY 9 at 8/7c.

This National Geographic video says about itself:

2 July 2017

Wildlife filmmaker Filipe DeAndrade swims with bull sharks off of the coast of Fiji.

Tagging whale sharks in Mexico


This video says about itself:

Tagging the Largest Shark on Earth #OurBluePlanet – BBC Earth

24 May 2017

The size of a school bus but in many ways a mystery, whale sharks continue to fascinate. Join a team of international scientists at a renowned marine sanctuary in Cabo Pulmo, Mexico and discover how we’re trying to better understand these remarkable creatures.

Dutch children raise much money for sharks


This 2015 video is called Shark asks several divers for help.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Children raise over 600,000 euros for sharks

Today, 18:54

Children have collected 621,780 euros for shark protection. This happened in the context of the Zapp Your Planet action of the WWF and NPO Zapp, the public broadcaster’s children’s branch. The action was concluded with an action day at the Mediapark in Hilversum.

Every year, Zapp and the WNF have Dutch children raising money for an endangered species, but the amount has never been so high. About sharks the WNF says that every year 100 million are killed for their fins or their meat.

Thousands of children today brought the contributions they have collected over the past months. Some children had collected deposit bottles, others had sold lemonade or chocolate eggs.

The collected money will be used, inter alia, to make areas in the sea more shark-friendly. There is also a global campaign for people not to eat shark meat.

Great white shark video


This video says about itself:

Great White Shark Attack And Breach – Planet Earth – BBC Earth

3 May 2017

Epic footage of one of earth’s most feared predators, the Great White Shark. Each dawn, Cape Fur Seals leave their colony to go fishing. To reach the open sea they must cross a narrow strip of water which is patrolled by the largest predatory fish on the planet.