The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
4 Amazing Shark Stories to Enjoy This Shark Week
It's shark week, that seven day period every summer when our television screens swim with stories of one of the ocean's most fascinating residents. But sharks make headlines all year round. Here are some of the coolest shark stories EcoWatch has come across this summer.
1. Be Careful What You Fish For
Fishers off Cape Cod, Massachusetts had some fierce competition Saturday, July 20 when a great white shark jumped out of the water and bit a bass they had caught off their line, The Cape Cod Times reported.
"It just left everyone in awe," Columbia Sportfishing vessel Captain Marc Costa said.
"Good reminder that they don't just eat seals and always be cautious when retrieving your catch," the @MA_Sharks Twitter account wrote of the incident.
The video of the encounter was tweeted by the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy.
2. California Dreaming
Great white sharks have increased their numbers in Cape Cod in recent years. But they have also made a surprising home on the other side of the country.
Some juvenile specimen of the ocean's largest predatory fish have been spending more time in California's Monterey Bay, The Guardian reported Friday. Usually, the young sharks are found in the waters off Southern California, near Mexico, but they have begun to move further north in recent years, leading to more sightings in Monterey Bay starting in 2014.
Scientists think the climate crisis might be behind the move, prompting the sharks to move north as water temperatures warm.
"White sharks are endotherms — they have a warmer internal temperature, which makes them more like mammals than fish," Monterey Bay Aquarium senior research scientist Sal Jorgensen told The Guardian. "Especially when they're first born, they have to stay in a Goldilocks temperature range that's not too hot and not too cold."
The sharks have drawn the attention of local residents, who have dubbed their favorite stretch of coast "Shark Park," Specialized Helicopters pilot Chris Gularte told KPIX 5 when he flew reporters over the Bay on Tuesday July 16. You can watch a video of the trip here:
3. Baby Shark
Not all sharks are large predators. Scientists discovered a new species of shark in the Gulf of Mexico that is only five-and-a-half inches long.
The American Pocket Shark (Mollisquama mississippiensis) was first captured in the Gulf in 2010 and identified as a new species in a recent Zootaxa article, Tulane University reported. The only other pocket shark was found in the Eastern Pacific in 1979, and scientists confirmed the two were different species.
"In the history of fisheries science, only two pocket sharks have ever been captured or reported," study author Mark Grace of the National Marine Fisheries Service Mississippi Laboratories of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in the press release. "Both are separate species, each from separate oceans. Both are exceedingly rare."
The pocket sharks have small pockets that secrete a glowing liquid, allowing them to glow in the dark and attract prey, People Magazine reported.
“The fact that only one pocket shark has ever been reported from the Gulf of Mexico, and that it is a new species, underscores how little we know about the Gulf." - Henry Bart, director of the #Tulane Biodiversity Research Institutehttps://t.co/OsODER047l— Tulane University (@Tulane) July 19, 2019
4. Deep Blue Sea
Researchers had an incredible encounter with another rare shark in the Gulf of Mexico this summer.
Shark expert Gavin Naylor of the Florida Museum of Natural History was on a submarine dive to tag the bluntnose sixgill, a shark species older than most dinosaurs, when one of the ancient animals swam up to his vessel.
"I'm literally nose to nose with this animal," Naylor told Live Science.
That particular fish was too close to tag, but the researchers managed to tag another one, marking the first time scientists have tagged an animal from a submarine. The bluntnose sixgill is the world's oldest shark species and swims 2,500 to 3,500 feet below the ocean. Previous attempts to tag them by bringing them to the surface had caused the sharks to act strangely. This deep sea tag should help researchers better understand their behavior.
More footage of six-gill at 528 meters from inside the sub last saturday. This sequence was taken by Lee Frey, our multi-talented sub pilot/engineer/inventor who designed the solenoid triggered spear guns for sub-based tagging. Thanks again to the entire OceanX team. Amazing.. pic.twitter.com/hnW4hQLhm7— Gavin Naylor (@gavinnaylor) July 2, 2019
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Allegra Kirkland, Jeremy Deaton, Molly Taft, Mina Lee and Josh Landis
Climate change is already here. It's not something that can simply be ignored by cable news or dismissed by sitting U.S. senators in a Twitter joke. Nor is it a fantastical scenario like The Day After Tomorrow or 2012 that starts with a single crack in the Arctic ice shelf or earthquake tearing through Los Angeles, and results, a few weeks or years later, in the end of life on Earth as we know it.
Air pollution particles that a pregnant woman inhales have the potential to travel through the lungs and breach the fetal side of the placenta, indicating that unborn babies are exposed to black carbon from motor vehicles and fuel burning, according to a study published in the journal Nature Communications.
Teen activist Greta Thunberg delivered a talking-to to members of Congress Tuesday during a meeting of the Senate Climate Change Task Force after politicians praised her and other youth activists for their efforts and asked their advice on how to fight climate change.
The University of California system will dump all of its investments from fossil fuels, as the Associated Press reported. The university system controls over $84 billion between its pension fund and its endowment. However, the announcement about its investments is not aimed to please activists.
By Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
World leaders have a formidable task: setting a course to save our future. The extreme weather made more frequent and severe by climate change is here. This spring, devastating cyclones impacted 3 million people in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. Record heatwaves are hitting Europe and other regions — this July was the hottest month in modern record globally. Much of India is again suffering severe drought.
By Mark Hertsgaard
The United Nations Secretary General says that he is counting on public pressure to compel governments to take much stronger action against what he calls the climate change "emergency."