Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Megalodon's teeth

Megalodon's teeth were up to 17cm long. Like most sharks, Megalodon's teeth were probably located in rows which rotated into use as they were needed. Most sharks have about 5 rows of teeth at any time. The front set does most of the work. The first two rows are used for obtaining prey, the other rows rotate into place as they are needed. As teeth are lost, broken, or worn down, they are replaced by new teeth. Megalodon may have had hundreds of teeth at one time. They did not chew their food like we do, but gulped it down whole in very large chunks.
The jaws were big enough for the Megalodon shark to be able to swallow a whole Rhinoceros! (Source: "W H AL E E C H O E S - From South African Shores", Official Newsletter of the Whale Mark Organisation, September 2009)

Megalodon shark

Megalodon was an ancient shark that may have been 12 m or more long. Some scientists estimate (from many fossilized teeth and a few fossilized vertebrae that have been found) that it could have been 15.5 to 31 m long! This is at least 2-3 times longer than the Great White Shark. The giant fossilized teeth are the size of a person's hand! Since Megalodon's teeth are very similar to those of the Great White Shark (but bigger and thicker), it is thought that Megalodon may have looked like a huge, streamlined version of the Great White Shark. 'Megalodon' is Greek for 'big teeth'.
(Source: "W H A L E E C H O E S - From South African Shores", Official Newsletter of the Whale Mark Organisation, September 2009)

Sunday, September 27, 2009


According to the web page found at , “Palau creates shark haven, by Simon RogersonThe Pacific nation of Palau is to create the world's first shark sanctuary, banning all fishing of sharks and stingrays in its territorial waters. Shark conservationists are hoping the move will create a domino effect, leading other nations to create similar sanctuaries. The country's leader, President Johnson Toribiong, announced Palau's environmental plans when he addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York today, bringing the shark-finning issue to the attention of the political elite.


Carlie Heaven, an honours student at Flinders University, is doing a project on Port Jackson shark embryo osmoregulation and is seeking locations of Port Jackson shark eggs. If anyone could help Carlie out with good places where there are abundant PJ shark eggs, it would be much appreciated. Contact Carlie at

Monday, September 14, 2009


According to the July 24 2009 (issue 38) of “The Overflow Newsletter”, a 26-foot, 1-tonne basking shark recently washed up on a beach in New York State, startling beachgoers. Unfortunately, the huge shark died. There were plans to send samples of the animal around the world. Here are the details taken from “The Overflow Newsletter”: -“26 Foot Shark Washed Ashore - Eager to scrutinize a species with few samples available for study, researchers Tuesday sliced up the carcass of an enormous basking shark that washed up on Gilgo Beach in Babylon, New York State, with plans to send samples of the animal around the world. The barely alive 26-foot shark startled beachgoers when it appeared on shore Tuesday. "It came in alive, wasn't in good shape and died," said Demian Chapman, 34, assistant professor at Stony Brook University's School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. It's unclear why the shark died, but researchers believe it was ill or had been injured. The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation will determine the cause of death, state parks spokesman George Gorman said. Tracy Marcus of Cornell Cooperative Extension told The Associated Press the dead shark weighed about a ton. She said it is unusual for ailing basking sharks to come ashore. No one is allowed to kill basking sharks, an important species that researchers are eager to study.” Some photos of the shark being attended to by beachgoers can be viewed at

Shark displays at SA Whale Centre

Some of Rodney Fox's shark museum displays are now located within the SA Whale Centre at Victor Harbor.

Shark Watch

Shark Watch aims to help prevent the extinction of these magnificent, ancient creatures by increasing the protection they receive, including reducing the impacts on them, and by contributing to our very limited knowledge of them. This will be achieved through:
• encouraging and supporting users of the marine environment to report sightings of sharks and rays. This will involve establishing a sightings register, developing identification sheets and promoting the program through local and regional networks and media;

• increasing community awareness and understanding of sharks and rays, the threats they face and the actions needed to reduce those threats.
Activities will include establishing a website providing information sheets and links to other relevant sites, a newsletter, workshops and media articles;
• supporting community involvement in actions to provide protection for threatened shark and ray species, including listing under Commonwealth and State legislation and providing input to relevant government planning and policy development and review processes; and
• encouraging and supporting increased co-operation and coordination between conservation,
research, industry and government organisations involved in conserving and managing sharks and rays.
You can help Shark Watch achieve its aims by reporting sightings of the sharks and rays listed above, taking on the role of a local contact person for sightings reports in your area and/or volunteering as a project assistant doing research, preparing community education materials or undertaking general office tasks. For more information, or to get involved in Shark Watch, please contact Chris Ball at or at the Conservation Council of SA on 8223

Friday, September 11, 2009

David Hasselhoff's Sharkwatch Series

The Underwater Channel released David Hasselhoff's Sharkwatch Series (3 Webisodes) on 9th September. Details can be found at Part 1 is titled "Shark Infested Waters". Hasselhoff seeks out a tiger shark and attempts to feed it! Part 2 is titled "Dare I Feed a Shark?" Hasselhoff continues his attempt to hand feed a tiger shark. Part 3 is titled "Indiscriminate Killers?" Hasselhoff reflects upon his ‘journey of a lifetime’. Who exactly is it that most deserves the title ‘indiscriminate killers’. The truth becomes devastatingly apparent. A complete blog about the topic can be found at