A female grey nurse shark (Carcharias taurus) was found off the coast of Sydney, Australia with an elastic cord around its head. A veterinarian and team from the Manly Sea Life Sanctuary and Aquarium was brought out by boat and divers began the tricky task of capturing the shark and bringing it to the surface. Once the shark was trapped in a “sleeve” and brought to the surface, the elastic was removed and the wound was inspected. An antibiotic injection was then administered, and the shark was sent on her way. Without intervention, this shark would likely have died.
Grey nurse sharks are classified as a threatened species in Australia with only about 1,500 left off it’s coast. Both males and females max out at a length of about 12 feet and they only reproduce every couple of years.
In honor of Discovery’s Shark Week, this Weird Wildlife Wednesday will cover the elusive and rarely seen Megamouth Shark (Megachasma pelagios). This shark has earned its name by its size, reaching lengths of 5 meters! Not a lot is known about them because they were only recently discovered in 1976. Megamouths are thought to prefer warm to temperate waters and have been spotted in several areas of the Pacific Ocean. Though they are large and might seem menacing, they are gentle giants, filter feeding small shrimp and plankton. Unfortunately, their conservation status is listed as data deficient because they were only recently discovered and are rarely seen.
This week is the best week of the year. It’s SHARK WEEK! A week that the Discovery Channel dedicates entirely to one of the ocean’s most feared and misunderstood predators. I usually spend shark week glued to my TV, only leaving to eat and sleep. But this year I am working full time so I will have to miss out some. Lucky for me, Shark Weeks from years passed are available for instant play on Netflix. Any posts I make this week will be dedicated to sharks everywhere.
Shark Week runs from today, August 4th, through Saturday, August 10th.
Visit Shark Week’s page on the Discovery Channel website for more shark-tastic information and fun!