No, sharks do not have a sixth sense

Sharks really do have a sixth sense.

It is the electrosensory organ that we spoke of with the hammerhead sharks. The electrosensory organ is called the ampullae of Lorenzini. Sounds intimidating, however, it’s really just a jelly filled canal that starts near the nose and helps them find food under the sand and figure out what direction they are going.

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Everyone loves Shark Week!

It really feels like a phenomenon – especially when is also celebrating Shark Week!

Here is a good one from the site by Isaac McLellan  (poem “The Bluefish“):

The weaker tenants of the main
Flee from their rage in vain,
The vast menhaden multitudes
They massacre o’er the flood;
With lashing tail, with snapping teeth
They stain the tides with blood.

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Break it down. It’s hammertime … (doooo doo doo dut .. doo dut ..doo dut.)

The hammerhead shark has evolved the interesting looking skull cap to accommodate its extra collection electrosensory organs. All sharks do have these electrosensory organs, but, the hammerhead has a bit more than the average shark species. hammerheadThe electrosensory organ are useful for traveling far distances in the open ocean. It is like a internal GPS system.  (I am not sure if it comes with a funny British accent like the one in my uncle’s car though.)

Also, another reason that the hammerhead may have evolved that shaped head is because it loves to eat squid. That head will surely be able to tangle up those tentacles lurking around the corners.

Again, Happy Shark Week!

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What do you mako this?

In honor of Shark Week on the Discovery Channel I decided to post a different shark fact each week.jumping_mako

Today…What is the fastest shark species?

The mako shark is the fastest shark. It can get up to 20 miles per hour (or faster when being chased by an enemy). The mako shark can naturally move as fast as I do while driving a go-kart. Unbelievable!

You’d have to be pretty skilled to catch a mako shark, especially on a rod. Here is an article from Underwater Times telling how Brendan Mason caught a 600 pound mako shark with just a rod and reel!

The mako shark can even jump up to 20 feet in the air.

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Image (c) UnderWater Times.

What is the best book about the ocean?

That seems like a fun question. And, worthwhile, especially since we wrote about the best beach movies this winter. But…Are we talking non-fiction or fiction? Let’s just say for the sake of relaxation you are asking about fiction. I can name some that come to mind, but, would love to hear feedback from others as well!Moby_Dick_by_KissMyShades

Here is my list:

Jaws by Peter Benchley

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

The Big Wave by Pearl S. Buck

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

I am sure there are many more that I have yet to read…please add your favorites to the comment section. Thanks!

Has anyone read Robinson Crusoe by Robert Louis Stevenson? I feel like that would be worthy of the list, but, don’t want to say I read it when I never did…

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Oh, Bermuda Triangle, where art thou?


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Who is afraid of Atlantic wolf(fish)?

Wolf FishThe Atlantic wolffish (Anarhichas lupus) may look rather frightening, but, the fish will only harm you if it is out of water. This is rather understandable since it is out of its natural habitat. It prefers to live on rocky bottoms of the ocean floor in very deep, cold waters.

These fish have high concentrations of the compound found in antifreeze so they are able to survive these low temperatures.

The Atlantic wolffish may have gotten black listed as a ‘scary creature’ since it is so often seen out of the water. Commercial fishermen often caught this fish by accident (i.e., bycatch). In fact, the wolffish is listed as a Species of Concern with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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How do flamingos get their color?

From their diet. They eat foods high in beta carotene, mostly shrimp and algae. They also will eat mollusks (clams or snails) or crustaceans (crabs). They gather their food by gulping water with their beak and then straining the water and eating the leftover food. So, that being said, the color often varies between bird to bird in a flock.

Flamingos in a zoo are fed foods with the additive canthaxanthin to keep the color up to everyone’s expectations. The same is done with the pretty pink salmon you buy that is farmed and not caught in the wild.


How many oceans are there?

In reality, there is just one ocean.

However, I understand the confusion as of late on the geographic names applied to different sections of this ocean ecosystem. While we lost a planet (Pluto), we gained an ocean! In 2000, the International Hydrographic Organization named this new ocean the Southern Ocean. Basically, it is the southern equivalent of the Arctic Ocean, except a little bit larger in sprawling space. So, there are 5 oceans.

Here they are in a listing of greatest to least in square miles:

Pacific (64,186,000)

Atlantic (33,420,000)

Indian (28,350,000)

Southern (7,848,300)

Arctic (5,106,000)

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What about blob(fish)?

The blobfish is the ugliest animal in the ocean” or at least that is the consensus on many blogs and websites. I am curious if you have another ‘ugly’ favorite. Please share below and in the meantime here are five fun facts about the fish that will never win a beauty contest.


But, please remember beauty on the inside is what counts.

  • The blobfish lives off the coast of Tasmania and Australia.
  • The body of the blobfish is made up of mostly gelatin, not muscle.
  • The blobfish is slightly less dense than the water around it so it floats right above the seafloor.
  • Since the blobfish has no muscle it just eats whatever floats near him or her.
  • The blobfish may or not be related to Ziggy.

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