The Galapagos Shark Essay

* The Galapagos shark was named after the islands where the shark was found.

The Galapagos shark is a large, thin shark. The shark is brownish or grey black and has black sides and a white underside. PICTURE The first dorsal fin shark was tall, narrow and almost straight, and a low ridge leads to the small, second dorsal fin. The trailing edges of the fins may be darker than the rest of the body, and the tips may be a dusty colour. The shark is slightly different to most sharks because it has a rounded snout.The Galapagos shark is a carnivore which means it only consumes meat.

The Galapagos shark can grow up to 3. 7m long and can have up to 16 pups every 2 – 3 years. A Galapagos shark can weigh up to 85. 5kg.

A shark’s sense of smell is extremely accurate, and is probably its most important sense. Unlike land animals, the nostrils are not used for breathing in any way, and are not even connected to the mouth. Instead, they are used to smell, and sharks can detect tiny amounts of blood, as small as one drop of blood in 378 litres of water, from an injured fish. Habitat Galapagos sharks can live in the waters of nearly all oceans, but they are usually found in the waters of the tropical seas along Mexico, South America, Africa, and the Galapagos islands.

They prefer to live in clear, tropical waters. As they are a coastal species, they prefer to live with a rocky or coral bottom, rather than a sandy bottom picture, and will often cross open waters between islands. * Their ability to detect electrical impulses may be one reason why some species find it impossible to survive in aquariums.

* The blast of electrical impulses in an aquarium may alter and confuse their senses.Scientists have even discovered that the Galapagos shark can detect the small electrical impulses from the heart beat of sting rays hiding underneath the sand. Behavioural adaptations * The Galapagos has upper teeth that are triangular and serrated which means this shark is considered to be very dangerous. * The Galapagos Shark has been known to swim as deep as 61 meters.

Young sharks will go into very shallow water and prefer to swim just off the bottom of the ocean floor.They normally stay in one small area and usually there are a quite a large number of them in those areas. * The Galapagos Shark’s behaviour s very similar to the Grey Whaler and will often come to the surface when there is any sort of commotion. It can become quite aggressive when there are food sources such as speared fish in the water and has been known to attack people by mistaking a foot for a fish or a surf board for a dolphin or sea – lion in murky waters. * The Galapagos Shark swims in schools and sometimes can show aggressive behaviour towards divers.

They can be found in any depth of water but prefer clear water.* When the Galapagos shark’s pups are born they stay in shallow waters to avoid being eaten by their parents. In the open sea things the sharks behave differently. Sharks are highly evolved predators, featuring a heightened sense of smell, excellent night vision, as well as the amazing ability to detect even the smallest amounts of electric currents from living organisms. Food competitors and predators * Galapagos sharks diet consists of prey taken from the ocean floor including bottom dwelling squid, fish and octopus.

* The Galapagos shark does not have many predators but however there is one predator which is the Tiger shark. The tiger shark will occasionally feed on the Galapagos shark if it cannot find enough food.Why I chose the Galapagos shark * The reason I chose the Galapagos shark was because sharks interest me. I was very interested to find out if these species of sharks are dangerous to humans. I also found out that the Galapagos shark can live around the Hawaiian Islands which worries me because I went to Hawaii over the Christmas holidays and was swimming in the ocean.

* Structural- 3. 7m long and weighs 85. 5kgs, dusky skin for camouflage * Functional- can detect electrical impulses * Behavioural – come to surface when there is commotion


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