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  • In Gansbaai, the largest white shark ever caught was at Danger Point and measured up to 5.9m. The exact world record white shark is a contested issue, but chances are it is between 6-7m.

  • If you see a white shark in the water don’t panic. Chances are high that the shark has already detected you and isn’t interested. White shark attacks are normally associated with poor visibility, so avoid murky conditions.

  • White sharks have a unique system called a “counter current heat exchange”, which keeps their body  tempreture +/- 7C above the surrounding water temperature. 

  • All sharks have an incredibly unique system on the tip of their nose called the “ampillae of Lorenzini”. These are small pores filled with a gel that transmits the electrical currents in the water to the shark’s brain so that it can assess its environment.

  • White sharks give birth to live young (not eggs), and they give birth to 6-8 pups at one time. Pups are usually between 1.0-1.5m in length and are born with teeth.

  • Body language has been a well documented form of shark communication and has identified body arching, jaw gaping, and other postures as specific social tactics.

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Shark armor... what is special about shark skin?

Monday, June 18, 2012 |  0 Comment Tags: shark skin,

Author: Michelle Wcisel (Marine Biologist)
To Michelle, a born and bred American from Michigan, the sea resembles another planet within Earth where intelligent "extraterrestrial" beings and thriving systems flourish in the depths where there is neither oxygen nor sunlight. "So many of us gaze at the stars in wonder when we should be looking into our oceans!"

Shark skin is not made up of traditional fish scales.  Rather, they have minature teeth similar to shark teeth in general that interlock (see the close up picture above).  These scales are called "dermal scales".  Recent hydrodynamic research has show how these scales actually bristle like fur and push the water down the shark more efficiently and with less drag.  Check out this incredible talk by Bob Hueter about this miraculous research by clicking http://bit.ly/M5IALg.  Also, some zoologists suggest that early ancestors of sharks developed shark skin before developing teeth and that shark skin is the basis of teeth formation for all modern day animals

So the next time you pet a shark, make sure you go head to tail! 

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