Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Shark Week! The Filter Feeders!

I've been watching Shark Week 2013 on the Discovery Channel this week and I'll be writing a web log post every day this week with shark related posts.

Today I'll be featuring the filter feeders of the shark world!




Shark week on the Discovery Channel has been disappointing me a bit because a lot of the programs they're showing are mostly the shark attack survivor shows.

They've been portraying sharks as very dangerous creatures because of their aggressiveness and especially their mouth that is full of rows and rows of razor sharp teeth.

Photos courtesy of Google images. Credit goes to the original owners.
BUT! Not ALL sharks are scary like how some media producers portray them as.

I would like to introduce the readers to the filter feeders!

First up, the most popular filter feeder of the shark world:

The Whale Shark; Rhincodon typus
Photos courtesy of Google images. Credit goes to the original owners.
This active filter feeding plankton eater cruises through tropical waters sucking in water through its mouth, catching its food with filter pads and pushing out the water through its gill slits.
The whale shark also eats other nektonic creatures such as krill, small squid and the fish clouds of their eggs and sperm.

Photos courtesy of Google images. Credit goes to the original owners.

An average adult whale shark can grow up to 32 feet long and weigh in around 20,000 pounds. It has 10 gills, 5 on each side of it's head and has 300+ rows of tiny teeth.

Photos courtesy of Google images. Credit goes to the original owners.

Next up! The second largest fish species in the world:

The Basking Shark; Cetorhinus maximus


The Basking shark is a passive filter feeder that eats zooplankton and small fish. Instead of pumping water through its mouth it only swims, staying close to the surface of the water with its mouth wide open.
Photos courtesy of Google images. Credit goes to the original owners.
Zooplankton. Photos courtesy of Google images. Credit goes to the original owners.
It too has filter pads/gill rakers that catches its prey.

The average Basking shark can grow to about 26 feet in length and weigh in at 10, 400 pounds. Basking sharks have been known to grow bigger than this but because of overfishing this occurrence is rare.

Basking sharks have 10 gills, 5 on each side of its conical shaped head and are found in oceans worldwide; in boreal/subarctic climates to warm temperate waters.

Photos courtesy of Google images. Credit goes to the original owners.
The last filter feeder I would like to introduce is the mysterious:

Megamouth Shark; Megachasma pelagios

Photos courtesy of Google images. Credit goes to the original owners.
The Megamouth shark is a deepwater shark and an extremely rare species making information on this gentle giant very scarce.

They are active filter feeders, sucking in water through their mouths, catching their prey on their gill rakers and pushing the excess water out through their gills.

It's mouth is surrounded by light emitting photophores which can act as a lure for plankton, small fish and sea jellies.

Photos courtesy of Google images. Credit goes to the original owners.
An adult Megamouth shark has been estimated to grow to 18 feet in length and weigh in at 2,700 pounds.

Photos courtesy of Google images. Credit goes to the original owners.




I didn't want to steal the glory of all the other great sites that have much more information on these sharks, so I greatly summarized them in this web log post.

I only wanted to make the readers aware that not all sharks are as dangerous or as aggressive as the media portrays them to be.

These three sharks are the perfect example of docile, peaceful and gentle sharks.

Tune into the Discovery Channel this week for Shark Week! Hopefully it gets better since Shark Week 2013 has actually been disappointing me...

But! I still have hope for DC!

And don't forget to check in everyday this week to read my new posts with everything SHARK related.

Until tomorrow! Good night!

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