African Shark Eco-Charters

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Let’s Talk About It…The Pacific Sleep Shark

By | May 29th, 2017|Interesting Articles, Tour Happening's|

Let’s Talk About It…The Pacific Sleep Shark The Pacific Sleeper Shark is of the Somniosidae family of shark, which include the giant Greenland Shark. Commonly called “Sleeper Sharks” due to their slow swimming and non-aggressive natures, these sharks have a familiarly look. The Pacific Sleeper Shark is the smallest of the family group, reaching an average size of 3.5 meters (12 feet) while it’s other family members can and do grown well beyond that 7 meters (23 feet) in length! They boast a rounded snout and grey-black skin which is rough to the touch, they have an almost torpedo shape body with low dorsal fins. Being deep swimmers, not much is known about these interesting sharks. It has been recorded though that they enjoy a diet of pacific octopus, sole, Pollock, flounder, tuna and teleost fish. This slow moving shark’s diet is generally determined on where it may find itself [...]

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Can sharks hear?

By | May 16th, 2017|Interesting Articles|

Its a good question, can sharks hear? They don’t have ears…? Well it is speculated that sharks have a very well-developed hearing sense because it works with the lateral line that enhances and detects vibrations. This makes them good at hearing low vibrations frequencies and finding the position of the noise through using the lateral pores. So they can hear prey that is near. And although they may not have ear lobes they do have ears. These ears are small holes on the sides of the head that leads to the inner ear. The inner ear has 3 chambers and an ear stone called an otolith. This inner ear detects gravity, sound and acceleration to locate food. It also helps with balancing the shark and finding its equilibrium. So where is the inner ear located? It is fixed into the frontal skull called the chondrocranium and is made up of [...]

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Let’s Talk About It…Spotted Gully Shark

By | May 11th, 2017|Interesting Articles|

Let’s Talk About It…Spotted Gully Shark Found in False Bay, this shark answers to a couple different names, the Spotted Gully Shark, Sharptooth Houndshark, Sweet William or “Spotty” as “affectionately” referred to by anglers. The Spotted Gully Shark, prefers shallow inshore waters from South Africa to Southern Angola, closer to the sea bed in sandy areas near rocks, reefs and gullies. This tough little shark grows to about 1.7 meters in length with the females out-growing the males and boast large rounded fins; it has a short blunt snout and is characteristically grey or bronze in colour with plenty of its signature black spots, while the underside of the shark is paler. Being a nocturnally active shark, the Spotted Gully Shark enjoys a diet of crustaceans, bony fish and cephalopods. They have been seen gathering together during the day in shallower waters, and it is believed that they do this [...]

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The Shark Eye…..eye eye Captain

By | May 2nd, 2017|Interesting Articles|

In keeping with the theme of senses, today we’ll take a look at the shark’s eye. A shark’s eye is as advanced as its hunting technique. It consists of two duplex retinas: cones and rods. Cones enable you to see in the colour whereas rods help the eye to adjust to light and dark by dilating and contracting the pupils to allow more or less light in. This allows the shark to see up to 15 meters long. The shark’s eye is made up of the normal elements like a human’s eyes such as the cornea, lens, retina, pupil and iris. The retina has two areas: the day vision and the low-light vision. The retina allows the shark to see better in darker and murkier water - even the silhouette of wounded seals in murky water. I actually watched a documentary where sharks adapted to using the light of the [...]

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Digestion of a great white shark

By | April 24th, 2017|Interesting Articles|

Digestion of a great white shark Seeing sharks close by gives me butterflies in my stomach (wait… that’s love?), okay then they make my stomach growl (nope, that’s when I’m hungry)… Oh, I got it! Sharks turn my stomach inside out. No! They turn their own stomachs inside out… They can’t actually vomit instead they do something similar to vomiting: gastric eversion. This is where the stomach relaxes and oesophagus contracts to “clean” any indigestible food like licence plates, parasites or bones from the stomach lining. Let’s take a look at how a shark digests its lovely not broken seal prey. The digestive system can be separated into four sections: the oral cavity; the foregut; midgut and the hindgut. The Oral Cavity   The oral cavity is basically the mouth section consists of those lovely pearly whites, mouth, and pharynx. Here there are no digestive juices secreted, as the shark [...]

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Muscle and Movement of a great white shark

By | April 24th, 2017|Interesting Articles|

Muscle and Movement Did you know sharks can fly? Okay, not really… but the microscopic grooves, or riblets, in shark’s skin inspired the construction of an aeroplane. Did you also know there is a material created that is similar to shark skin to prevent algae settling on the hull of ships? And engineers are attempting to integrate it into hospital coatings on surfaces to reduce infections and bacterial growth. A Great White tends to attack from beneath and behind therefore it needs to be fast and stealthy to catch prey. So let’s delve into Mother Nature’s design into an apex water-based predator. A Great White shark is shaped liked a torpedo – a fusiform body. It is cylindrical in shape with narrowing edges such as the tail and keels, called caudal fins, on the side of the tail which is crescent moon shape. The purpose of this shape of the [...]

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A great white ” nose” best

By | April 24th, 2017|Interesting Articles|

A great white " nose" best Have you ever wondered how a shark is so accurate and can smell something miles away? Maybe its because it smelled something fishy? Who nose? But let’s take a look at the tip of the issue. Did you know touching a shark’s nose sends them into a trance-like state? Please DO NOT EVER try and touch a shark’s nose – EVER (including in a cage!). Ten fingers, ten toes and smiles are what we want the most. Since we are at Blog number 5 I thought I’d switch it up and talk about the big FIVE senses starting with the smell or nose. Actually, sharks have seven senses – which includes the Ampullae of Lorenzini and the Lateral Line A shark is able to detect scents from far away – up to 1ml of blood in 100l of water. This is done through the [...]

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Let’s Talk About It…Soup fin or Vaalhaai Shark

By | April 21st, 2017|Interesting Articles|

Let’s Talk About It…Soup fin or Vaalhaai Shark Found in False Bay though not exclusively, as it is rather wide spread in temperate waters, this shark is family of the houndshark and has many names; Tope Shark, Vaalhaai, School Shark and Snapper Shark. It is also sometimes referred to as the Vitamin Shark, as its liver is very high in vitamin A. And as for the name; Soupfin Shark, you would have guessed correctly if you had guessed that they are fished for their flesh, which is eaten in countries from Greece, Mexico to Britain and of course Asia.   Reaching a maximum of 1.75m in the male and 1.95m in the female of the species, this shark is small, kind of bluish in colour, with a white under belly and a shallow body and longer snout. It has a crescent shaped mouth with backward facing, serrated teeth, while the [...]

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Shark Skeleton

By | March 29th, 2017|Interesting Articles|

The Shark Skeleton Have you ever wondered what the inside of a shark looks like? No? Well I have. Interestingly a shark doesn’t actually have bones or a skeleton- per se. Did you know that, like a tree, you could tell a shark’s age by counting the rings in their bones? And that they aren’t like a normal piece of snoek with thousands of little bones because they do not have true bones like other fish. This is also, why a ray can “flap” like a bird. A shark is in fact made up of a lighter, flexible cartilage that is more elastic to allow them to bend and swim in a tight circle. Some areas are harder, or more calcified, and softer for different functions such as a soft snout to absorb hard knocks better. This cartilage is believed to have an agent in that may be important to [...]

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Let’s Talk About It, The Orca

By | March 24th, 2017|Interesting Articles|

Let’s Talk About It, The Orca   With all the “boo-ha-ha” in Gansbaai, regarding the appearance of 4 Orcas in the bay, which seemed to coincide with the disappearance of the Great White Shark population from the famous Shark Alley, I thought I would take a deeper look into this phenomenon, of course only once the sharks had returned. There seems to be differing beliefs here, some on the side of the Orca, saying they are not responsible for the disappearance of the Great Whites, as they are not a threat and others who believe they are a threat and the sole reason for the Great White Shark’s game of hide and go seek. Both sides have a fair argument and both have proof to back up their claims. In False Bay in 2014, ASEC had many successful trips, filled with plenty shark activity out to Seal Island, and the [...]

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