Discover the most fascinating sharks of the last decade


Bamboo walk Ninja Lantern Shark glows in the dark. Whale sharks can carry up to 300 children at once – in different embryonic stages and from different fathers. Zebra sharks experience “virgin birth.”

These are just a sample of the most fascinating shark discoveries of the decade. Some 500 known species of these toothed fish bite the waters of our planet, ranging in size from bite to bus size, and scientists are still becoming familiar with most of them. Since 2000, when scientists discovered shark populations, the world was collapsing, research on sharks has begun In many fields of study, from paleontology to neuroscience to biomechanics.

A quarter century later, one thing is clear: Sharks are often not savvy killers in popular culture. For starters, these fish have large brains that range in size from species to species.

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“Your mind is like a shark,” says Kara Yopak, a comparative neuroanotomist at the University of North Carolina Willington. In fact, one of Earth’s most primitive creatures, the shark was first said to have developed what she calls the “brain brain blueprint”, which includes well-known structures such as the olfactory bulb, cerebellum, and parts of the forebrain and midbrain.

“The biggest misconception is that sharks are these preprogrammed, small-minded eating machines,” Yopak says. “I have learned that it is not so.”

As shark science expands, so does the urge to protect many species, two-thirds of which are threatened by climate change, habitat loss and poaching. A study suggests that if the world overpowered its marine protected areas by just 3 percent, it could potentially save 99 of the most frequent sharks, many of which are top predators that balance their ecosystems Help to keep in (Read about six sharks you’ve never heard of.)

There are more conclusions here that have thrown our knowledge of the shark on its head.

Shark imagined more than ever.

Researchers like Barbara Block, a marine biologist at Stanford University, are placing GPS tags on sharks and tracking their movements – and revealing their secret lives.

Earlier, scientists thought that the great white sharks near California were sticking to the shores of the sea, hunting sea lions and seals. But as tracking technology advanced, allowing scientists to tag sharks for longer periods, Block and colleagues learned that hunters traveled thousands of miles each winter on a warm patch of water in the open Pacific, Where he dived indiscriminately at night time.

A great white float from the Neptune Islands in southern Australia. Scientists once thought that poachers hunt mostly close to home.

Satellites suggested this Colorado-sized Pacific region, as the “White Shark Cafe” was devoid of food. But they were wrong. Scientists found an area rich with shrimp, insects, big eyes, squid, and various deep-sea creatures. Now that we know that this white shark hunt is very important for their life cycle, conservationists are working to establish it as a UNESCO heritage site.

On the US East Coast in recent years, a legendary white named Mary Lee has become a minor celebrity, hopping in between Bermuda, Florida, and surprises scientists with the Jersey Shore and its frequent jaunts. Mary Lee has not appeared since 2017, but she has active accounts on Facebook and Facebook Twitter.

Other shark species are less peripheral, migrating epicenter. In 2014, a great white named Lydia became known for the first time as its species crossing the Atlantic Ocean. And in 2017, a whale shark named Anne broke the record by traveling nearly 12,400 miles across the Pacific Ocean in two years.

Tooth-like scales help them to swim.

All sharks are covered in hundreds of thousands of tiny teeth, which when lost are mysteriously resurrected.

“Each of which is like its own teeth, with pulp cavities, dentines, and enamel covers,” says George Lauder, a fish biologist and robotic expert at Harvard University. “The teeth in our mouths come from ancient scales that covered animals such as sharks 400 million years ago.”

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Recent advances in imaging technology, 3-D printing, and robotics have shown how dentists help sharks swim. In laboratory experiments, Lauder found that sharkskin-like material moved faster and used less energy than smooth material.

mystery? Denticles reduce drag and increase lift and thrust. Size also matters; The speed of small teeth increases, and the larger ones reduce it. On individual sharks, dental patterns and sizes may vary.

Filter-feeders are more complex than thought.

Scientists once used their mouths to filter-feeding fishes, such as the colander’s: anything too large to fit through a trapped hole; The rest went out with water. But Erin “Misty” Paig-Tran, a functional anatomist at California State University, Fullerton, was surprised at how this could be true. Filter-feeding manta rays and whale sharks, which she studied near Cancun, Mexico, were fed at the same place at the same time, but ate completely different things.

By testing a 3-D model of shark and manta filters in the lab, she revealed how they do it. By adjusting their swimming speed and the width of their mouths or gill slits, fish can catch their favorite food by manipulating the water flowing through their gulls. Generally, the faster the water speed, the smaller the food particles. (Learn how the world’s largest whale sharks are disappearing.)

Filter-feeding species have different strategies. Whale sharks stop and swim with suction feed, surface and gulp or open mouth. Megamouth carry a huge bouquet with their dental-covered filters. Basking sharks swim with open mouths.

At least one shark species is omnivorous — and probably more so.

In 2007, scientists studying the diet of bontehead sharks found up to 60 percent of seagrass-fed vine.

“Everyone thought, myself included, that they were carnivorous,” says Samantha Leah, a postdoctoral researcher who studied sharks in Pag-Tran’s lab. Sure, they can eat seafood by accident, but can their bodies do anything with that green stuff?

Nearly a decade later, Leah, then a graduate student at the University of California Irvine, labeled the captive Bonthad shark with isotopic tracer-specific molecules, allowing him to see where nutrients from seagrass pass through the body. He found that the fish digested about half of the organic matter in the ocean and incorporated its nutrients into their bodies.

“That’s a lot like digesting juvenile sea turtles,” she says. This is the first omnivorous diet observed in a shark. How they do this remains mysterious, but Leah says that sharks, like humans, can seek help from microbes in their guts.

Sharks inspire materials and products that benefit humans.

In 2012, Lauder tested swimsuit material intended to reduce drag like a sharkskin, with 80 percent of the winning swimmers at the Sydney Olympics. The Speedo LZR suite, now banned because of concerns over unfair mileage, has increased swimmers’ performance by about 7 percent, he says. Swimsuit companies such as Speedo are working to design new suits to replace LZRs that are not considered “technology doping”.

Lauder’s research found that suits were not actually reducing drag for human swimmers. “The surface of these suits is really nothing like a real shark,” Lauder notes. The real key was that the tight, full-body suit smoothed out any bumps on human skin.

Pag-Tran of California State University says filter-feeding sharks are inspiring designs for high-volume, energy-efficient, self-cleaning industrial filters for purposes such as wastewater treatment or even microplastics from water bodies Are removed.

“There’s a lot that’s happened in the last 10 years,” Pag-Tran says. “The more we learn about sharks, the more attractive they become.”

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