Shark Research Paper

972 words - 4 pages

A shark can be defined as a marine fish that has rough greyish skin and a skeleton made of cartilage, which usually prey on other animals and are sometimes dangerous to people (Merriam-Webster, 2011). The most tragic shark attack towards humans in history occurred with the sinking of the USS Indianapolis (Nelson, 2002). According to Discovery Channels Ocean of Fear (2012), three specific sharks are responsible for the USS Indianapolis nightmare. Sharks have been known to attack humans, although it is rare and they do not usually initiate attacks.
There are three different types of sharks responsible for the many USS Indianapolis crew fatalities. One of them is the oceanic white tip. The oceanic white tip shark is one of the five most dangerous sharks according to arkive.org (2006). It has a stocky build. It also has a short, bluntly rounded snout with powerful jaws. The oceanic white tip has a large, rounded first dorsal fin and long, wide, paddle-like pectoral fins. The dorsal, pelvic, and caudal fins on this type of shark are white. The oceanic white tip can be up to 396 centimeters and weigh up to 167.4 kilograms. Therefore, it typically dominates when it comes to eating bony fishes, stingrays, sea turtles, dead whales, and dead dolphins. The oceanic white tip shark can dive 150 meters below sea level in their warm, tropical water. The white tip shark mates in early summer and can have one to five young. Another shark responsible for the many fatalities of the USS Indianapolis crew is the tiger shark. The tiger shark is marked by vertical stripes that run the length of its body and fade with age. They are bluish green with dark grey above. Below, the tiger shark has a yellowish-white to stark white color. Some unique characteristics of this shark are its broad head, large jaws, and big teeth. According to Nationalgeographic.com (2013), tiger sharks are usually 6.5-7 meters. Arkive.org (2006) states that the biggest tiger shark ever recorded was 7.5 meters long. The Tiger shark usually feeds at night on fish, turtles, marine animals, and human rubbish. Tiger sharks also have a large home range and migrate during seasons when the water is no longer tropical or murky. The tiger shark can have 10-82 pups. The last shark responsible for the USS Indianapolis crew was the short fin mako shark. This shark swims at a speed of 35 miles per hour. Therefore, making the mako the fastest swimming shark according to discovery.com (2013). The short fin mako shark can weigh up to 570 kilograms and is typically four meters long. It is known for its long conical snout, big black eyes, high tail, and razor sharp teeth. This shark has very good heat exchange allowing it to be warmer than the surrounding water. That allows it to maintain a high activity level. The short fin mako has an upper blue metallic body and a white underside that darkens with age. It is defined by its short pectoral fin. Like...

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