I am sure you have heard of the saying, “there’s plenty of fish in the sea.” Well, unfortunately that is not the case any more. Each year our oceans are losing more and more of our underwater friends. This is all due to overfishing, and is sure have a long-lasting impact on the future of our oceans and our everyday lives. Fortunately, we are now creating measures to restrict our fishing practices, but it may be a case of too little too late. Let’s hope not.
OverFishing with industrial trawlers is one of the ocean’s biggest threats.
In this edition of our regular photo facts we take a look at the lovely Leopard Seal. As it’s the festive period and there is heaps of snow and ice and cold weather around it seems appropriate to head down to Antarctica and meet our nimble friends.
It’s been a while since we had 10 interesting facts about one of the crazy creatures we love, so this time the turn falls to our lovely friend the shark! Sharks have been in the news a lot recently, and for all the wrong reasons. Furthermore we will add a few false myths regarding sharks; but first lets crack on with 10 facts about sharks.
When we think of shark attacks we have images of the Great White from Jaws flashing in front of our eyes, or one of the many ‘youtube’ surfer shark attack videos. In recent times all kinds of stories and news reports have come out highlighting the unusual increase in shark attacks on humans. Take the most recent case in Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt where a 70 year old German woman was killed while snorkelling and four others mauled by what is believed to be the same shark the previous days while swimming. It is peak tourist season for scuba diving in Sharm el-Sheikh, boats are packed full, dive centres are fully booked and the region’s tourist board are desperate not to let the shark attacks dampen tourist income.
Whale Sharks are amazing creatures. Growing to be over 12 meters long and over 20 tonnes these monsters are surprisingly timid. They are the largest shark, and therefore the largest fish in the world. Despite being a shark, they don’t live up to the usual expectations of violent killers associated with some members of the Chondrichthyes (Sharks and others) class. They are filter feeders, and trundle along with their mouths wide open, eating large volumes of mainly plankton, krill and some small fish.
This fish looks funny. Why oh why is there such a peculiar protrusion sticking out from its head with an eyeball at each end? Obviously it has an advantage in head butting competitions outside the Friday night local but other than that, what could that head possibly be good for?
Many variations for the use of the ‘hammer’ have been dreamt up over the last few hundred years ranging from aerodynamics, hunting techniques and prey manipulation to improved eyesight. Well actually all these are quite sensible suggestions it turns out, and all have some degree of credibility. The Hammer on the head is officially called a Cephalofoil. Indeed the unique shape of the head provides lift and improves swimming abilities making them surprisingly agile. For many years the main plausible explanation for this obscure growth is that it aids in electroreception where the large area of the sharks’ head improves the speed and efficiency of locating and catching prey.