The Greenland Shark
Sharks live in almost every part of the oceans, from coastal environments to deep-sea habitats. They also live in the warm waters of the tropics to the cold frigid waters of
the polar region. The Greenland shark, also known as “somniousus Microcephalus,” lives in the dark, cold waters of the North Atlantic (I 65). The Greenland shark belongs to the order Squaliforms, more usually known as dogfish sharks. There are 70 species in this order, which includes the spied sharks, spiny dogfish, Sleeper sharks and lantern fish (I 50).
Greenland Shark Classification:
Phylum: Cordates (possessing a notochord)
Sub Phylum: Vertebrates (possessing a back bone)
Super Class: Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates)
Class: Chondrichthyes (cartilaginous skeleton)
Subclass: Elasmobranchas (ribbon like gills)
Super Order: Selachii or Selachimopha (shark shaped)
Species: somniousus Microcephalus (I 185)
The shark’s habitat largely depends on the water temperature this allows its
habitat that ranges from the Polar latitudes to the North Sea in the east and the St. Lawrence River in the West. The Greenland shark has also wonders south as far as the
waters off Cape Hatteras and has also been found in the Gulf of Maine. The shark usually lives in cool water ranging from 2-7deg Celsius (II 63). However the sharks has also been found in the waters in the Artic Circle. (I 65) Typically the Greenland sharks live at extreme depths. In the winter months the Greenland sharks can be found at the surface and at the edges of ice burgs and glaciers. The sharks will also enter fjords during these months. However in the warmer months of summer, the sharks dives back to depths and lives at an average depth of 100-400 fathoms and has been caught in water as deep as 600 fathoms (II 63). Depending on season and water temperature, the shark’s habitat moves.
The diet of a Greenland will eat almost anything that it will come across. With its
slow swimming body plan, it includes bottom living shellfish, but it also hunts seals,
porpoises and other small whales and sea birds at the surface in its diet (I 65). These sharks also eats many kinds of fish, such as capelin, char, herring, halibut, lumpfish and even salmon. There has even been fast swimming fish found with its tail bitten off inside the shark’s stomach (II 63). A bizarre delicacy for a Greenland shark is reindeer. Some sharks have been found with whole reindeer in their stomachs (IV 55). As you can see the Greenland shark has a wide-ranging diet, however there are no documented attacks on humans, however there are Eskimo legends of these sharks attacking people in kayaks.
Many sharks have developed streamline bodies for speed or flat bodies to rest on
he bottom. However the Green land sharks does not do either of these, so a rounded
flabby body fits them well. This adaptation is due to the high pressures of the...