Saturday, August 20, 2011

New England sharks

I'm going to do a series of posts about sharks in different places in the USA.  My first state is one that I was always told was a place too cold for sharks.  New England.

Several species of sharks that live in New England are:
Basking Sharks
Great Whites
Blue Sharks
Hammerhead (only one kind)
Dusky Sharks

Basking sharks are the second largest type of sharks, but are harmless to humans! They are krill-eaters.  They are more often spotted in the summertime in New England.

Dogfish are a small variety of sharks, that often get stuck in lobster traps.  Dogfish may bite humans, but it will not be a serious injury.

Everybody knows that Great Whites have been known to attack humans.  But do they attack in New England?  Well in 1916 there was a well-known series of shark attacks, where the Great White swam up a river in New York, and attacked people swimming in the river.  The last Great White I have heard of in New England was caught off the coast of Boston, it was a young male.  Here is some good information about Great Whites, and attacks.  Please notice that the most recent fatal attack was 1938.

I do not know very much about Thresher Sharks.  I know that they very rarely attack humans.  In fact I have never heard of a Thresher attack.  They have very long tails, which is where they get their names, if I'm not mistaken.

Blue Sharks.  A larger species of shark, yet still not as big as Great Whites,  Bulls, Hammerheads, or Tigers.  These sharks will swim into waist-deep water, and will - very, very, very, rarely - attack humans.

Makos, shortfins are common in New England, but are consider good eating.  Male makos rarely reach over 500 lbs., but most females reach 1,000 lbs., or higher! Makos have been known to eat Blue sharks!

Porbeagles look a lot like shortfin Makos, and the two species are often confused.  They live in New England all year long.  Females can get around 200 lbs., heavier than the males.

Smooth Hammerheads live in New England.  Some species of Hammerhead live in schools, including Smooth Hammerheads.  Out of all Hammerhead species, Smooth Hammerheads are the most cold hardy, and can is found worldwide.  They tend to like to stay in shallow water, in large groups.

Tiger sharks are identified by the stripes on their backs, and sides.  Tigers are also known as the "Garbage cans of the Sea" because they will eat almost anything.  Unfortunately, that includes humans.  However, these sharks are popular in demand for their fins, skin, and livers.  And with their slow reproduction rate they are listed as endangered species.

Dusky sharks have often been mistaken for Bull Sharks in New England.  Bull Sharks do not live in New England, but Dusky Shark have a similar look.  These Sharks also have a slow reproduction rate, and are not able to breed until they are about 18-23 years old! The females only have a litter once every 3, or more, years.  They are also very valuable, and over fished for fins, skin, meat, and livers.

So these are Sharks of New England!

This is going to be on of the info sheets for my project.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Project part 3 - Info sheets!

I have a presentation board that was being used for my Snakehead project, that a few of you may know about.  (I never finished that project...)

I am going to have multipul sheets of paper about different species of sharks:

1. Reef Sharks: Blacktipped, Whitetipped, and more! (The shoe box is a shoebox reef, in case you forgot)

2. Harmless Sharks: Harmless to humans that is... They still have to eat.

3. "Man-Eaters": Do they really eat men?  And do they eat women and children, too?

4. Small Sharks: And you thought sharks were big man-eaters!

5. Shark Teeth, and Jaws: The only bones they have.

6. 2001: Summer of the Sharks... For some unknown reason.

7. Shark products: I know.  I didn't want to know about these either.

8. Odd places to find sharks: Washington state, Greenland, Canada, sharks are everywhere!

I'm also going to have handouts with a little bit of information from each sheet on them.  But that's a whole other post :)