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Sharks: Hammerhead, Goblin, and Frill, Term Paper Example

Pages: 6

Words: 1588

Term Paper

When the word shark is mentioned people automatically associate this big sea creature with sharp teeth and a thirst for blood. It is assumed that sharks all look alike and act alike, but this is not true. Yes, while all types of sharks are placed into the same category, they are not all the same. People hear shark and they automatically see a “Jaws” type shark and fear is almost instantly evoked. There are many types of sharks, three types of sharks are; Hammerhead, Goblin, and Frill. Sharks like any other creature have had to adapt their bodies, environment, and behavior to their specific needs for survival.

Hammerhead sharks have a distinct look which make them easily noticeable compared to other sharks, one could easily pick out a hammer head. Hammerhead sharks distinct features help them to hunt better and find more food.  According to National Geographic (Retrieved on 14 October 2012) Their heads look like a hammer, their eyes are widely offset, and their sensory organs are spread across its hammer shaped head. The wide apart eyes allow for a better visual range allowing it to spot things that may typically be out of focal range for other animals. The sensory organs do different things, one set allows for the Hammerhead to detect the electrical discharge put out by prey, allowing them to know when there is food around. The Hammerhead is one of the largest sharks, they grow to be 20 feet long and can weigh up to 1000 pounds, but it is more common to see smaller sizes of this shark.

Frill sharks, are quite ugly in look, they look like a long snake, with the whole head looking like it is nothing but mouth. According to Discovery Channel Online (Retrieved on 14 October 2012) It has over 300 trident shaped teeth inside its mouth. It has been believed that the loch ness monster that people thought to have had seen was really a Frill shark. It back half of the body almost looks like feathers or wings, its head looks almost like a sphere, its teeth are sharp enough to eat through almost anything, and it has enough pressure in its jaws to crush any prey. At the edge of it face and throat there are 6 frilled gills; this is what gives it, its name.

Goblin sharks, are quite unusual, they have a very distinct look and can easily be recognized in a group of other sharks. They have like a grayish-pink skin, a long flat snout, a jaw full of teeth that protrudes forward when it eats. According to Enchanted Learning on 14 October 2012, “The Goblin shark has long, sharp teeth in the front of its mouth. The upper teeth are slightly longer than the lower teeth. These sharp teeth are used for catching fish.” The long snout may contain sensory organs like the Hammerhead which allow for it to detect the electricity put out by prey making it easier to catch food. It can grow up to 11 feet long, its mouth goes behind its eyes, it has low rounded fins, no eyelids, it has 5 gills, and it swims very slowly. There is not very much known about these sharks.

The Hammerheads often live in temperate or tropical waters, they migrate in large groups during the summer to cooler waters, they live in schools, and they tend to stay far away from the shoreline, sometimes they are seen near shore but this very rare. Hammerheads are typically found in the Indian Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, and Pacific Ocean. In these water Hammerheads can easily find their food; fish, jellyfish, other sharks, octopus, and much more that is readily available in these waters.

The Frill sharks are common to the Japanese waters. They tend to swim near the bottom of the ocean floor and are considered to be bottom feeders. There is not much research on these sharks so not much is known about their habits and habitats. We know that they feed on squid, bony fish, and other sharks. They can swallow whole prey up to half the size of their bodies. These sharks are considered to be threatened and a very rarely seen.

Goblin sharks live in the very depths of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans; they live at nearly 4000 feet below the surface of the ocean. The Goblin shark is harmless to humans and has rarely been seen by people, probably because it lives all the way at the bottom of the ocean where humans do not typically go. It eats other sharks, squid and crabs. There is very little known about these sharks.

The behavior of a Hammerhead shark is pretty docile to humans. There a very little known attacks from a Hammerhead on a human. The Hammerhead tends to stick together in schools and they migrate together in groups during the summer. They eat mostly on sting rays and other bony fishes. They can be observed travelling together and hunting together. They tend to stay away from the shoreline and very rarely will they be seen near the shore, so the threat on people is very low, this is probably the reason why there have been so few attacks; however some Hammerheads can be a threat to people. According to Aquatic Community June 2004, “Three Hammerhead species can be dangerous to humans: the Great Hammerhead shark, the Scalloped Hammerhead shark and the Smooth Hammerhead sharks.” For the most part Hammerheads are not a threat out of the 8 species of Hammerheads on 3 pose a threat.

The Hammerhead shark is widely known for its shape and can be seen in some aquariums around the world. Some aquariums have found that these sharks are so docile and pose no threat that they have tanks where people can walk right up to the tank and pet the Hammerhead shark. Hammerheads are kind and gentle sharks and do not typically show any of the signs of aggression towards people. Hammerheads like any other animal if provoked will attack, but this shark is such a gentle creature that people do not fear touching them or seeing them. In almost aquarium you can see the care givers of these sharks diving into their tanks, petting them, feeding them by hand, swimming with them, and interacting with them in a fun and friendly manor. Hammerheads are really an interesting creature, a true gentle giant!

The behavior of the Frill shark is almost like that of the Hammerhead. Except they do not live in schools and they tend to live closer to the ocean surface. They like to feed mainly on squid and other bony fish. This shark moves like a snake and attacks its prey as if it was a snake. There are no recorded attacks on humans by a frill shark. Like the Goblin shark, science cannot tell us much, because no one has really ever been able to collect enough data to tell us exactly what their behavior patterns are, why and do they attack, and whatever else they may do in their daily life.

There is not enough known about the Goblin shark to have documents and records on them. We know what they eat, where they live, and we know that there are no attacks on humans. Scientists have not been able to collect enough data and research on them, mainly because of where they live. Because of this we do not know what their behavior is like. We do know that they hunt for their food and can use sensory organs to help them find their prey and we do know that they do not pose a threat to humans.

Sharks can be very gentle and they can be very dangerous. Most sharks are very kind, but will attack if they feel threatened or are being attacked themselves. They are just like any other animal, they have defense mechanisms in them to keep themselves safe and protect what is theirs. They can be very deadly if need be and some of the sharks can crush a human with the strength of their jaws, and depending on how large the shark is they may be able to swallow things up to have the size of their bodies. Sharks are very interesting and deserve to be studied more; hopefully reducing some of the fears people have of sharks.

All sharks fit in the same category, but not all sharks are created the same way. All sharks have adjusted to where they live and what they have to do to survive. Some sharks resemble those that are so commonly associated with “Jaws”, some look like eels and snakes, some look like they have a hammer for a head, and some have long snouts and a mouth that stretches beyond their eyes. Some live close to the surface but far from the shore, some live toward the lower part of the ocean, and some live completely on the bottom of the ocean floor. Some prefer bony fish only, some prefer sting rays, and some prefer crabs. Sharks all hunt for their food and all three of these sharks, Hammerhead, Frill, and Goblin pose little to no threat to humans. There are many types of sharks, three types of sharks are; Hammerhead, Goblin, and Frill. Sharks like any other creature have had to adapt their bodies, environment, and behavior to their specific needs for survival.

Works Cited

Aquaticcommunity.June 2004.Hammerhead Shark. http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/sharkfish/hammerheadshark.php

Discovery Channel.Retrieved on 14 October 2012.Frill Shark:Loch Ness or Living Fossil?. http://dsc.discovery.com/sharks/frill-shark.html

Enchantedlearning.Retrieved on 14 October 2012.Goblin Shark http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/sharks/species/Goblin.shtml

National Geographic.Retrieved on 14 October 2012.Hammerhead Sharks http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/fish/hammerhead-shark/

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