WhaleTimes announces this year’s summer camp, SHARKS VS PEOPLE. Great whites make headlines. Hammerheads send chills down the spine. Even the prehistoric (and extinct) Megaladon shark has attained legendary status as a monster. The truth is, you’re more likely to become a professional football player, injure yourself fixing the toilet, or get a spider bite than attacked by a shark. More than 500 sharks roam the seas (and some rivers). Some are longer than a school bus. Others swim faster than a killer whale. Some sharks can change color. Many glow in the dark! Sharks’ undeserved fearsome reputation overshadows the real story. The most dangerous animal in the sea is people, not sharks. Many shark species are threatened or endangered. They need our help to save them. Find out how in this fun and exciting class.
WhaleTimes’ Sharks vs People Summer Camp introduces kids to shark adaptations and species. Throughout this program, special guest Ruth A. Musgrave, author of MISSION SHARK RESCUE (National Geographic Children’s Books) and EVERYTHING SHARKS (National Geographic Children’s Books), shares her love of sharks, introduces amazing sharks, the scientists who study them, and empowers kids to help save sharks.
This program offered through museums and science centers throughout the country.
Meet a gorgeous shark, the six-gill shark. This is a deep-water shark and as you can guess from the name, it has six gill slits. Those are the openings the water goes out after it passes over the gills. Most other sharks have 5 gill slits. A couple have 7.
The six-gill shark’s relatives date back over 200 million years. It has a heavy and powerful body with a round blunt snout. A six-gill shark’s color ranges from tan, brown, gray and even to black. Six-gills grow up to 18 feet (5.5 meters) long. That’s longer than a utility vehicle. Female six-gill sharks are larger then the males.
Another way six-gill sharks differ from other sharks is that its dorsal fin. It only has one (which isn’t unusual) but the one dorsal fin is located further back near the tail. Other dorsal fin of other sharks is usually near the center of their body (on their backs, of course).
Like the prickly shark, the six-gill might appear slow and sluggish when caught on film by an ROV or the very cool “Eye-in-the-Sea” camera. But hey, how would we look sitting on the couch texting friends or binge watching your favorite show? In between meals, a six-gill doesn’t waste energy zooming around the sea. When hunting, though, six-gills burst into action. They ambush prey from a close range. Six-gills eat small fishes, snails, crabs, shrimp, and squid.
Because of its deep-sea lifestyle, little is know about its reproductive behavior or other behaviors.
Six-gill sharks are threatened due to being overfished and caught in nets set for other species.
See you next time,
WhaleTimes created Fintastic Friday: Giving Sharks, Skates, and Rays a Voice to help raise awareness and encourage advocacy to protect elasmobranchs. This special annual holiday is celebrated worldwide.
Humans are not doing their job to protect sharks. Movies, books, and news outlets have created and perpetuated a false, but stereotypical view of sharks. This misguided hatred has caused a lack of compassion or understanding about sharks’ significant role in the health of the ocean. People hear even less about skates and rays.
On average, only 10 people are killed by sharks a year — in the entire world. BUT people kill more than 11,000 sharks EVERY HOUR of every day. Can you imagine people remaining mum if that number were whales? Dolphins? Penguins? Or some other popular species? Never.
We’ll say it again, People are not doing their best to protect sharks.
WhaleTimes believes kids are the future of sharks. No one is louder and more enthusiastic than a kid who cares. Kids love sharks. They haven’t seen the movies or heard the skewed, sensationalized, and poorly researched news clips. We want kids from all over the world cheering, SAVE THE SHARKS on this special holiday and every day.
Find out how to celebrate and protect sharks today!
Congratulations to our very own Ruth A. Musgrave for her efforts in shark and ocean conservation, her new book MISSION: SHARK RESCUE (National Geographic Children’s Books March 2016) and for being highlighted by Oregon Coast Aquarium’s Oceanscape Network as part of their S.T.E.A.M. Powered: Profiles in Science, Creativity and Exploration.
This multi-part series features five women who are at the tops of their fields in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. Over the 2015-16 school year, one week will be dedicated to each person, highlighting their education, careers and innovative contributions to their various disciplines — including the discovery of new species, the exploration of hostile ecosystems and the conservation of marine species.
This week, schools are encouraged to submit students’ questions to Ruth via the Oceanscape Network.
Ruth is also sharing her shark conservation message with students throughout Oregon as part of a community service effort with Barnes and Noble (Tualatin) and throughout the world through Skype interviews.
Go Ruth. And thank you for helping raise awareness of sharks.
We sure have a lot to celebrate this year for Fintastic Friday: Giving Sharks, Skates, and Rays a Voice. Don’t forget to celebrate with us on May 13.
Nurse shark (Ginglymostoma cirratum) Courtesy NOAA
Fintastic Friday celebrates sharks and encourages everyone to find ways to change public opinion about from hatred to love and fear to appreciation. Think of it as Earth Day for sharks!
Gray reef (Carcharinus amblyrhynchos) Courtesy NOAA Photo credit David Burdick
Why a day for sharks? Shark, ray, and skate populations throughout the world are in peril, some threatened and others critically endangered. All of them need more people to care.
We know people and scientists can encourage governments to save sharks the same way they pushed for protection of whales so long ago. In fact, there are many countries stepping up to protect sharks by creating sanctuaries for sharks, but more need to be part of the solution.
To celebrate we want you to meet just a few scientists and organizations working to protect sharks, skates, and rays throughout the world. We suggest you send them all a big sharky thank you! (see the Big as Life Thank You idea on our Fintastic Friday page)
This year’s Fintastic Friday dedicated to Eugenie Clark, an inspiration to all of us to protect our oceans. Thank you.
Get the word out! Share or Like Fintastic Friday on the WhaleTimes Facebook page
This is one of my friends, a whale shark. Whale sharks are the largest fish in the sea and, as you can see, also one of the most beautiful. Whale sharks grow to reach 40 feet or more! Maybe as big as 65 feet long! Their average weight is about 40,000 pounds. That’s about the weight of 10 cars!
Its white spots and pale vertical and horizontal stripes make it easy to identify. They have a flattened head with a blunt snout and a giant mouth. According to EVERYTHING SHARKS (National Geographic Kids, 2011) it’s mouth is almost as wide as a car! Wow!
Don’t worry, this gorgeous giant is only interested in eating plankton (tiny plants and animals).
Like many shark species, whale sharks need our help. The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) lists whales sharks as vulnerable mostly due to overfishing.
See you later,
PS. Remember to join us for Fintastic Friday: Giving Sharks a Voice on May 8, 2015 to celebrate sharks!
A six gill shark takes a selfie in the deep
Recently, WhaleTimes Director Ruth Musgrave was invited to visit elementary schools in Oregon City, Oregon to talk about sharks. She discovered the kids in Oregon City LOVE sharks as much as we do.
The kids were inspired to celebrate Fintastic Friday early and send a “Big as Life” thank you to biologists helping sharks.
If you follow the link below you’ll see Dr. Dean Grubbs, Florida State University Coastal and Marine Laboratory, showing off his thank you!Take a look! https://www.facebook.com/FSUCML
Thank you kids — and Dr. Grubbs and our friends at Florida State University Coastal and Marine Laboratory! Together we can save sharks!
Don’t forget to mark your calendar, Fintastic Friday: Giving Sharks, Skates, and Rays a Voice is just months away.
Sharks need our help!
Mark your calendar to celebrate Fintastic Friday: Giving Sharks, Skates, and Rays a Voice
May 8, 2015
More to come….