Sharks

From: Dagmar Fertl (dagmar_fertl@hotmail.com)
Date: Tue Apr 04 2000 - 08:22:47 EDT


Hello, my name is Joe Doro and I am from West Bend, Wisconsin. I am a
freshman at West Bend West High School and I'm also considering a degree in
marine biology.

Earlier this year my Global Studies teacher assigned a Deep Research
Project. In this project I must form contacts with people outside of my
town and discuss my topic with them. From the information I get from the
contacts I must write a paper. If you could please answer the following
questions, I would be very grateful. Thank you for your time.

> > What are great white sharks' predators?
> >
> > How long have these sharks been around?
> >
> > Where are most of great white sharks located?
> >
> > What kind of effect do sharks have on us?
> >
> > I just saw Deep Blue Sea, have humans actually seen some advances,
> > medically, in sharks for cancer or any other diseases?
> >
> > What are the reasons for killing sharks for products?
> >
> > What are sharks importances to their surrounding ecosystem?
> >
> > What are sharks main preys?
> >
> > Do sharks cause any damage to their surroundings?
> >
> > What is the average lifetime of a great white shark?
> >
> > Do sharks attack humans often? Is it most often an accident?
> >
> > Are all sharks born live (like humans)?
>
> Do sharks migrate?
>
> How long does it take for a shark to go through pregnancy?
>
> Are Great White Sharks more aggressive than most sharks?
>
> What is the population of Great White Sharks?
>
> How intelligent are sharks?
>
> What are some special features of their body?
>
> What are people doing to preserve the shark species
> >
> >
> >
> > Sincerely,
> > Joe Doro
**************************
Joe,

Quite honestly, I am a marine mammal biologist who doesn't know that much
about sharks. I would recommend that you run a search using Yahoo
<www.yahoo.com> to locate information on sharks. By doing this, you will
also run across people who study sharks. It would be useful to try to locate
information on the Internet discussion group on sharks (elasmobranch-l),
which will help you get in touch with people who know much more about sharks
than I do.

I can answer a few questions. For example, for number 1. A few years ago, a
killer whale killed a white shark off the California coastline. There should
still be some information floating around on the web about that. Dr. Peter
Pyle would be the best contact for you for shark information (he works
through Point Reyes Biological Station). For question 2, sharks first appear
as fossils approximately 350-400 million years ago. For question 3, I'm not
sure where most white sharks are located, but I can tell you that they
inhabit temperate coastlines worldwide.

Sharks feed on a diversity of prey, depending on which species of shark
you're talking about. Some are plankton-feeders (like the whale shark),
others like the white shark eat fishes, turtles, and warm-blooded animals
(like seals and dolphins).

One point I did want to clear up for you was on shark reproduction and your
comparison to human reproduction. There are some sharks that are oviparous,
laying their eggs on the ocean bottom and leaving them. Other sharks are
ovoviviparous, which means the shark produces eggs which hatch inside the
female. The baby sharks are born live, but unlike humans, they are not
nourished by a placenta, and also, they must fend for themselves (unlike
humans).

As for the importance of sharks to humans, I answered a similar question
last year. I would recommend that you also check the WhaleNet archives for
information on sharks.

Hope I helped a little, Joe.

Dagmar

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