Fish and other aquatic creatures

Big-eared pelagic shark: photo, description

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Legends and myths of many coastal peoples keep stories about the meetings of people with huge sea monsters. Among them there are also references to a big fish: a semi-smoked half-shark. On November 15, 1976, a fairy tale came to life: one of the American ships pulled out an amazing shark with a huge mouth from the sea depths.

It happened quite by accident. The purpose of the US Navy hydrographic ship was to conduct regular planned explorations of the Pacific Ocean 42 kilometers off the coast of one of the Hawaiian islands. The work took place over a depth of 4,600 meters and demanded complete immobility of the vessel. Of course, a simple anchor will not help here, so the scientists decided to use two parachute anchors. What was their surprise when in one of them they discovered this strange creature, whose body length was 4.46 meters.

After a thorough study of the animal, it became apparent that it was a shark unknown to science, which was given the name pelagic large-eyed shark (Latin). Megachasma pelagios). Why the "big-haired" is clear to anyone who at least once saw her in photographs: a round head with a mouth of incredible size immediately catches the eye. But it became “pelagic” due to its habitat - it is believed that these sharks live in the zone of mesopilagia, i.e. at a depth of 150-500 meters.

Over the next 30 years, scientists were able to investigate less than three dozen specimens. The largest was discovered in April 2004 on the banks of the city of Ichihara in Japan. It was a dead female, 5.63 meters long, which was washed by the waves to the shore. However, scientists suggest that this is not the maximum size of the sea animal. It is possible that seven-meter specimens swim somewhere in the ocean. A little earlier (in March 2004), fishermen caught the smallest member of the family, a male with a body length of just 1.77 meters, near the island of Sumatra.

Despite the fear of the scary word "shark", this species is not dangerous for people. The basis of its diet, as in the giant and whale sharks, are small organisms, called plankton. The big-eyed shark feeds on krill, especially when it descends 150 meters in depth during the day and rises to 15 meters at night. In any case, this is how the male Bolsherota behaved, which he managed to catch in 1990. Scientists shot a film about him, supplied him with a radio transmitter, and released him to watch his migration behavior for almost two days.

The pelagic big-eyed shark is spread all over the world, preferring relatively warm latitudes. Perhaps mating occurs in the fall near the California coast, since it is there that mature males quite often visit. Bolsherot is an egg-breeding species, i.e. fertilization, development and hatching of small sharks occur in the womb.


At the moment, the pelagic big-eyed shark belongs to practically unexplored animals. Too few individuals came to the attention of researchers, because it is not so easy to dive into the beloved ones of greater length. For the same reason, it is not known whether the species faces extinction. The mighty ocean keeps its secrets.

Legends and Myths

There is no information that pelagic big-eyed sharks were known in previous centuries. One can only assume that these individuals became the basis of many legends about sea monsters, which are a mixture of whales and sharks.

Many coastal peoples have stories that tell about the meetings of people with large sea monsters. One of the legends tells about a half-shake-half-hammer with a huge mouth.

Discovery of a pelagic large shark

For the first time, the Megachasma pelagios, a big-eared shark, was caught in Hawaii, near the island of Oaxy. This has been documented. The male shark was found in 1976, the fifteenth of November. Its length was 4.46 meters. I caught this rare instance of the crew of a passing American ship. She tried to bite off cables that got tangled. Caught "monster" in the form of an effigy was sent to the museum in Honolulu.

Where did the name come from

In the name of this shark there is the word “bigmouth”. This name people awarded the miracle fish for a giant mouth. A "pelagic" was called because of the habitat. It is assumed that this type of shark lives in the zone of mesopilagil, at a depth of 150 to 500 m. But scientists are still not sure about this. It is believed that she can dive and deeper.

Areola habitat

Pelagic big-eyed shark is found in all oceans except the Arctic. Most of all it comes across in the southern hemisphere. Most often, Megachasma pelagios can be found off the coast of California, Japan and Taiwan. Scientists believe that this unique fish is distributed throughout the world, but still prefers to dwell in warm latitudes. This is confirmed by the fact that the big-eyed shark was caught near the Hawaiian Islands, South Australia, Africa and South America. She is often met off the coast of Ecuador.

After the history of the first individual, the second fish was caught only eight years later, near the island of Santa Catalina, in 1984. A stuffed shark was sent to the Los Angeles Museum. After that, big-eyed fish were seen more often. From 1988-1990 they were met off the coast of Western Australia, Japan and California. In 1995 - on the coast of Senegal and Brazil.

The bigmouth shark, the photo of which is in this article, belongs, like all the others, to the cartilaginous class. Skeleton - soft cartilage. Fabrics contain a lot of water. Therefore, the big-eyed shark is very slow (speed of about two kilometers per hour). She cannot develop greater speed physically. Its weight reaches one and a half tons, which makes it sluggish and slow.

The body is flabby and soft, characteristic of deep-sea. But this structure does not allow it to sink. The teeth are arranged in twenty-three rows. Each has almost 300 small teeth. The mouth around the edge is surrounded by photophore, which serves to lure plankton and small fish. Thanks to the phosphorescent lips, the big-eyed shark is considered the largest glowing fish.

Its height reaches a meter in width, and the length of the body - more than five. Coloring this shark reminds a bit of an orca. Therefore, sometimes she is mistaken for a young whale. The body of a large shark dark. Top - black and brown, and the belly - white. It differs from other species by its gigantic dark gray (or brown) mouth. Her nose is stupid. This amazing fish is a big, good-natured giant and is absolutely safe for people, although its appearance is very awesome and can easily frighten an ignorant person.

A new type of fish was found forty years ago. big-eyed shark. What does this giant eat? Previously, only two species of sharks that feed on plankton were known. Bolshomotaya became the third in this list. Small microorganisms were found in the stomachs of the dead individuals.

The main diet of a large shark is plankton, consisting of jellyfish, crustaceans, etc. Most of all, this giant fish loves reddish euphausiid crustaceans (aka krill, or black eyed). They live at great depths, so the shark periodically descends 150 meters behind them.

The big shark feeds like the whales, on the same principle. Only they pass plankton through the mouth passively. And the big-eyed shark consciously filters the water and makes swallowing movements every four minutes.

Noticing a flock of favorite crustaceans, opens a huge mouth and sucks water into it, pressing the tongue to the sky. There are “stamens” on it, otherwise - outgrowths. They are located very often, length - up to fifteen centimeters. Then the shark squeezes the water back through the close gills. Small krill remains on the processes. Crustaceans can slip out. If you're lucky, only through small, numerous teeth with a large shark. After straining the water, she swallows everything that is left in her mouth.

The pelagic big-eyed shark spends nights at a depth of no more than 15 meters. A day falls much lower - up to 150 m. Scientists suggest that such striking movements occur because of hunting for krill, which likewise changes its location depending on the time of day.

Breeding

There is very little information about the breeding of a giant fish. There is an assumption that the big-eyed shark mates exclusively in the fall. Scientists suggest that this action occurs mainly in the warm waters of Hawaii and California, since it is there that most adult males are found. This species of shark, like many others, is egg-breeding. Fertilization, maturation and hatching of eggs occurs in the womb of the female.

Enemies with big sharks

The big-eyed shark, the photo of which can be seen in this article, has enemies in the ocean because of its awkwardness. The first is stone perches. These fish, taking advantage of the slowness of Bolsherota, pull chunks of meat out of their soft bodies. Often gnawing shark to holes. The second enemy is the sperm whale. He swallows big-bore shark entirely with his huge maw. After that, it is easily digested in its voracious womb.

Interesting Facts

Scientists are of the opinion that the earlier big-mongers were near the bottom, and therefore remained unnoticed by people. But for some reason, these fish have risen to the middle water column. Perhaps the reason is climate change on the planet.

The World Fund for the Protection of Marine Animals brought the big sharks to the list of rare species and took them under their protection. But, nevertheless, it is known that recently one such shark was eaten by fishermen in the Philippines, and no administrative measures were taken against them.

Want to know everything

A lot we already with you psaw all sharks. But as it turns out, this is not all. Look at what passion is still floating in the oceans. Let's explore just such a "beauty."

After 1976 it became clear that there are now not two, but three species of sharks feeding on plankton in the world. The first two are whale and giant sharks, and the third is the big-eared shark. Legends and myths of many coastal peoples keep stories about the meetings of people with huge sea monsters. Among them there are also references to a big fish: a semi-smoked half-shark. On November 15, 1976, a fairy tale came to life: one of the American ships pulled out an amazing shark with a huge mouth from the sea depths.

Let's look at it in more detail ...

The discovery took place on November 15, 1976, by chance, when a US Navy hydrographic ship conducted its research in the area of ​​the Hawaiian Islands. On that day, the ship was above the depth of 4600 meters and therefore could not release the usual anchor. We decided to drop 2 parachute anchors. After the end of the research, when they were raised, they found an unusual fish of enormous size in one of them. She was a 446-centimeter shark-big shark, whose weight reached 750 kilograms. This giant fish was transferred to the Honolulu Museum.

After a thorough study of the animal, it became apparent that it was a shark unknown to science, which was given the name pelagic large-eyed shark (Latin). Megachasma pelagios). Why the "big-haired" is clear to anyone who at least once saw her in photographs: a round head with a mouth of incredible size immediately catches the eye. But it became “pelagic” due to its habitat - it is believed that these sharks live in the zone of mesopilagia, i.e. at a depth of 150-500 meters.

Everything for a while about this shark was no more a rumor, no spirit. But after 8 years, she again manifested itself. The second big shark was caught off the island of Santa Catalina (California) in November 1984. This copy was sent to the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History. And then began a whole series of similar finds.

Over the next 30 years, scientists were able to investigate less than three dozen specimens.

Between 1988 and 1990, another 4 sharks were found (1 - on the coast of Western Australia, 2 - on the Pacific coast of Japan, and 1 - in California), in 1995, 2 more copies (near Brazil and Senegal). And so on until 2004. In total, between November 1976 and November 2004, there were about 25 specimens, the largest of which was a shark, found dead in April 2004 on the coast near the city of Ichihara in Tokyo Bay. Its length was 5.63 meters. It was a female. The smallest shark turned out to be a male caught on March 13, 2004 near Fr. Sumatra. Its length was 1.77 meters. One more copy was caught by the Filipino fishermen in 2005.

The most outstanding part of the body of this shark is its incredible size mouth. Coloring is not much different from other shark species - dark gray or dark brown. The abdomen is much lighter than the back.

Since all sharks belong to the class of cartilage fish, it is not an exception. The skeleton of the bolsherota consists of soft cartilage, and the tissues are highly saturated with water. As a result, the shark is unable to develop decent speeds while swimming; therefore, its approximate speed is only about 2 km / hour.

At the very beginning of the note we already mentioned the specifics of her diet. The main food of the Bolshoy shark is plankton (crustaceans, jellyfish, etc.), of which particular preference is given to reddish crustaceans euphausiids, they are also krill that live at a shallow depth. The large-shark, having stumbled upon a pack of krill, opens its mouth and sucks a large amount of water and, pressing the tongue to the sky, squeezes the water out through the closely-spaced gill slits. The rescue of krill is blocked by numerous small teeth. Strain the water, the shark swallows everything that is left in the mouth.

Despite the fear of the scary word "shark", this species is not dangerous for people. The big-eyed shark feeds on krill, especially when it descends 150 meters in depth during the day and rises to 15 meters at night. In any case, this is how the male Bolsherota behaved, which he managed to catch in 1990. Scientists shot a film about him, supplied him with a radio transmitter, and released him to watch his migration behavior for almost two days.

Since the discovery of this wonderful fish, just over 30 years have passed. During this time, biologists have been able to find out only a small part of the life of the Big One. Shark lives in all oceans, except for the Arctic. The most common in the southern hemisphere of the globe. Frequent meetings with fish took place near the Japanese islands and Taiwan, which led scientists to speculate about the inclination of Bolsherota to warm waters. Specimens were also caught near the Hawaiian Islands, Ecuador, South Africa and Australia, which confirms the hypothesis of the "thermophilicity" of the animal.

Huge mouth with numerous small teeth

The head of a shark has a huge mouth, thanks to which it got its name. With her mouth, she strains the water, leaving only plankton in her mouth, which she eats. Since plankton is predominantly in the upper layers of water, the impression may be that the fish is kept on the surface, but this is not entirely true. Fishermen caught Bolsherotov and at depths exceeding 200 m. Such vertical migration is commonplace for plankton-eating animals that move in the water column, following food.

According to unconfirmed data, it is believed that the big-eyed shark can also live at depths of 1 km. The proof of this hypothesis can serve as a body structure characteristic of deep-sea inhabitants. It is soft and flabby, and the mouth is surrounded by photophores, which can serve as bait for small fish and plankton. The presence of photopairs is generally characteristic only for deep-sea fish.

Shark swimmer is not important. The big-eared shark moves at an average speed of only 1.5-2 km / h. The body is dark, brownish black on top and white on the bottom. With its coloring, it resembles a killer whale, so sometimes observers could mistakenly mistake Bolsherota as a young killer whale. This also contributes to the presence of small teeth in the mouth of a shark.

At the moment, the pelagic big-eyed shark belongs to practically unexplored animals. Too few individuals came to the attention of researchers, because it is not so easy to dive into the beloved ones of greater length. For the same reason, it is not known whether the species faces extinction. The mighty ocean keeps its secrets.

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