Showing posts tagged as "sharks"
Sharks are voracious eating machines: fact or fiction? The Aquarium’s biggest sharks are also the lightest eaters! Broadnose sevengill sharks reach 10 feet, but these giants digest meals slowly and only eat every few weeks.
Learn how we’re studying and helping save these majestic animals
Finned and friendly! Despite what you may see on #SharkWeek, not all sharks are scary. Our Underwater Explorers sometimes swim with a swell shark, as you can see in this diver’s-eye video.
Learn more about our surface scuba program for kids eight to 13
Shark supporter? We’re proud to be one of the official sponsors of shark fin legislation—a movement that has spread to 12 states and territories, and around the world. Now THAT’S a reason to celebrate #SharkWeek!
Help sharks by using our Seafood Watch guides
(Photo: Michael Burns)
It’s hammertime on #SharkWeek tonight—and this hammerhead won’t stop! Scalloped hammerheads, like many sharks, must constantly swim to breathe. Watch these energetic animals—recently classified as endangered—glide by our live Open Sea cam.
Monster or metal detector? Learn how the hammerhead shark’s uniquely shaped head helps it navigate and hunt in our latest video podcast, just in time for tonight’s #SharkWeek program!
Nail down your hammerhead facts
Spellbound by sharks? It’s #SharkWeek—and we’ll be sharing stories about these majestic, mysterious animals. We have a dozen species of sharks, rays and skates—important ambassadors for ocean conservation. Which is your favorite?
Check out our Animal Guide
Happy #Friday! Love sharks? We just added a beautiful female sevengill to the Monterey Bay Habitats exhibit! It’s 59 inches long and weighs just over 30 pounds.
Learn how we’re helping save sharks
Good news! NOAA Fisheries just gave scalloped hammerhead sharks protection under the Endangered Species Act! Sharks worldwide are in danger because of “finning” for shark fin soup, and accidental bycatch. We’re glad to have played a lead role in passage of the shark fin ban in California, a movement that’s spreading to many other states – and even to China!
Watch them live on exhibit
How do you FIN-gerprint a Great White Shark?
To the untrained eye, one shark fin cutting through the water probably looks like any other. Yet each great white shark dorsal fin gives our researchers and their colleagues important clues that will help to identify and protect them.
Like the swirls on a human fingerprint, the shape and notches of each white shark’s dorsal fin are unique, enabling scientists to catalog and track sharks across the oceans.
Building a Fin Photo Database
Since 1987, great white shark researchers at the aquarium, Stanford University, Point Blue, Montana State University and the University of California, Davis, have been photographing dorsal fins – first in waters off the Farallon Islands, and later at Año Nuevo Island and Tomales Point. They’ve created a photo database identifying 270 individuals over the past quarter century, providing the basis for the first-ever population estimate of adult and adolescent white sharks off the Central California coast.
This database helps scientists better understand where white sharks go and whether they return to the same waters on a regular basis. Fin IDs also help them estimate the number white sharks at these locations, and monitor the survival of individual animals.
Scientists have found that just as humans routinely travel between important locations — home, school, work — so too do great white sharks. White sharks congregate seasonally at spots along a migration route that takes them from the Central California coast, to the middle of the Pacific, and past southern California and Mexico.
Scientists use seal-shaped decoys to entice white sharks to the surface where it’s easy to photograph their fins. They also gather information such as size and sex when the sharks swim alongside their research boats. By comparing fin photos of the same sharks over the years, researchers concluded that – just as with our fingerprints, which remain the same over a lifetime – the overall shape of a shark fin remains fairly constant (with the exception of scrapes and scars).
In 2013, of the 80 individual adult white sharks photographed by researchers from the Aquarium and other institutions, nearly 65 percent had been seen in previous years. This suggests that the team is getting close to recognizing most of the adult great white sharks that frequent Central California waters.
Several have been coming back to the same waters for more than 20 years. One, a 16-foot male known as “Tom Johnson,” has been sighted for the last 26 years - the longest tracking period for any white shark on earth.