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Bahamas sharks

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1. by Brooke Fanson 2.  Type of shark: Latin name: Great hammerhead - Sphyrna mokarran Tiger shark- Geleocerdo cuvier Caribbean reef shark - Carcharhinus…
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  • 1. by Brooke Fanson
  • 2.  Type of shark: Latin name: Great hammerhead - Sphyrna mokarran Tiger shark- Geleocerdo cuvier Caribbean reef shark - Carcharhinus perezi Bull shark - Carcharhinus leucas Nurse shark - Ginglymostoma cirratum Lemon shark - Negaprion brevirostris Black tip reef shark - Carcharhinus limbatus Oceanic White tip shark - Carcharhinuslongimanus Silky shark - Carcharhinus falsiformis
  • 3. A very large hammerhead, unlike the smaller bonnet head andscalloped hammerhead, this magnificent and powerful predator canreach lengths of up to 18 feet. They can be found from shallowwaters to the open ocean. They feed on a variety of bony fish, smallsharks but have a distinct liking for stingrays. Some sharks havebeen found with several stingray barbs in their mouth. This speciesseems to be a solitary animal, rarely seen with another, although weare fortunate to have seen as many as five at one time. Besides theirsize, the way to tell a great hammerhead from any otherhammerhead is its extremely large sickle-shaped dorsal fin. Thereis no mistaking it . They have been seen with dorsal fins in excess ofthree feet in height. These are some of the most beautiful,prehistoric sharks in the ocean and one is privileged to see them.It is not uncommon to see great hammerheads swimming acrossthe sand or reef
  • 4. This shark obviously gets its common name from the stripes on its side.The spots and lines they have when they are young, turn into stripeswhen they get older. When they get over 12 feet however, thestripes tend to fade on some animals, but there is still no mistakingthis large, bulky predator. It has a massive head, blunt snout andlarge dark eyes. It also has a very large mouth and in females, theirentire body can be so large and bulky they almost always lookpregnant. These sharks are global, found almost everywhere. Wehave seen these sharks in deep and very shallow water during allhours of the day. Its diet is probably the most varied of all sharks,eating anything from bony fishes, turtles, birds, and crustaceans togarbage. Generally they are quite timid around divers, staying off inthe distance only coming in when he or she has had time to getcomfortable with a situation. These sharks are not uncommon to beseen on some of the reefs in the Bahamas just swimming by and canbe seen cruising the shallow waters of the Little Bahamas Bank.
  • 5. The Caribbean reef shark is the shark most people envision when yousay the word shark. In the Bahamas there are several areas where you cansee these sharks. Our West End/Little Bahamas Bank trips have severalsites where you can swim with these sharks, but almost any area of theBahamas will be home to the Caribbean Reef Shark.A common shark found in healthy reef environments that cansometimes be found offshore. It can grow to about 9 feet but usuallyaverages in lengths of 4-6 feet. It is found throughout the Caribbeanincluding Florida and the Gulf of Mexico . These sharks eat a variety ofbony fishes. They are powerful and impressive predators that make up themajority of most organized shark dives.They are easy to identify, with their round, blunt snout. Their bodiescan vary from slender to heavy set depending on size and body colourranges from pale to middle gray with white underbellies. They are smooth,sleek sharks that are amazingly agile and beautiful to watch. You can seethis shark year round.
  • 6. Thought to be extremely aggressive, you will find asa scuba diver, that they tend to stay pretty faraway from you at most times. On occasion, onemay get curious and come in for a closer look, butrarely. In the Bahamas, we find them on deeperdive sites. The bull shark is a very bulky,massively built shark with a blunt round snout,small eyes and no real conspicuous fin or bodymarkings. Think of a wrestler or body builder,they look like they have no neck and the same goesfor a bull shark. They have an extremely largegirth, not at all sleek looking like a Caribbean reefshark.
  • 7. Very common in the Bahamas and throughout theCaribbean, these sharks have a very large seconddorsal fin, long paddle shaped caudle fin and verysmall dotty eyes. Its pectoral fins look almost "angellike" if viewed from above. They are tan in colour asopposed to the black tip or Caribbean reef shark, whichare gray in colour. They grow to lengths of 9-10 feetand can be found in shallow waters, reefs, rubblebottoms, and are mostly seen lying on the bottomduring the day as they are nocturnal by nature.They feed on crabs, shrimps, lobsters, and octopusesalong with fish. You can find these sharks on just aboutany reef. They are very docile when left alone.
  • 8. Lemon sharks get their name from their light coloration. Malesseem to be thinner than the females who can reach over 10feet in length and be very bulky. They have a pointy snout andsmall eyes as well as two dorsal fins, like a nurse or sand tigershark. It is common for people to see fifteen or moredifferent lemon sharks on one day in one location averaging 8feet in length.
  • 9. These sharks are found almost worldwide.Most people confuse the Caribbean Reef sharkfor a Black tip. These sharks have smallamounts of black on the extremities of variousfins; they look like theyve been dipped inpaint. The snout, when viewed from the side, islonger and pointier than the rounded snout ofthe Caribbean Reef.In the Bahamas black tip reef sharks arecommonly seen.
  • 10. There is no mistaking this impressive shark fortheir commandeering presence is one of a kind.From early times these sharks have been given abad reputation,During the summer months some marinebiologists travel to areas in the Bahamas where wehave been fortunate enough to encounter theendangered Oceanic White tip shark. They arenamed because of the white tip on their dorsal fin.Elegant pilot fish are usually found accompanyingthis majestic sharks. On occasion we have evenencounter juveniles no larger than 3 feet in length.With their oversized paddle-like pectoral fins youwill not find a more endearing shark photograph.
  • 11. These are open ocean sharks that normallystay fairly close to land, but in deep wateroffshore. They have been seen off of deep waterreefs and accompanying other marine animals.They are a sleek, shiny gray to bronze colour.These guys are fast, and very agile. They feedmostly on bony fishes.In the Bahamas, we find them hangingaround deep buoys in the Tongue of the Oceanoff Andros Island and sometimes in largenumbers around a blue hole in Nassau .
  • 12. They now think that sharks are colour blind and they can only see in black and white.A shark does not have one bone in its body. Its skeleton is made up ofcartilage. Cartilage is a tough material, like the material that shapes your earThe Swell Shark, found in New Zealand, barks like a dog.A shark has three types of fins. They have two dorsal fins on their back, one finbeneath their body, called the pectoral fin (not all species have it), and the caudalfin is the tail.On average sharks kill less people than vending machinesA Mako shark can travel at up to 60 MPHThe weirdest thing ever found in a shark was medieval armourA shark is the only fish that can blink in both eyesA shark can go through up to 1,000 sets of teeth during its lifeSharks have been around for over 300 million years, even before dinosaurs
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