Friday, August 26, 2011

Great white shark appreciation day!

Hey! Did you know it's Great White Shark Appreciation Day in the Bay of Fundy today?

Further to my last post, I've decided to declare the Great White Shark our official fish mascot for the Bay of Fundy in the New7Wonders of Nature campaign!

You may have heard that a few great whites have been working diligently in our bay in recent weeks, promoting votes for Bay of Fundy... sooooo adorable! see pic --->

If you'd like to start your own "Great White Shark Appreciation Day" I've gather a few facts that you may find helpful in countering the Jaws-silly-movie-goer factor:

1) Sharks, in general, date from 420 million years ago (about 2x older than the world's oldest dinosaurs, ergo, waaaaay older than humans) and have diversified, world-wide, into over 400 species.

2) They possess amazing problem-solving skills, social skills, curiosity and playfulness.

3) Sharks grow replacement teeth as needed many times in their lives (this is exceedingly interesting to me as I pass through middle age)

4) They have a complex dermal corset (outer skin) made of flexible collagenous fibres and arranged as a helical network surrounding their bodies (I have no idea what this means but it, too, appeals to my middle-aged self!)

5) Their survival is under serious threat from over-fishing and other human activities (geez, did we do that again...?)

6) They rely on their livers, not bladders like other fish, for buoyancy and their livers make up 30% of their body size (no comment from the beer fridge on the appeal of that one)

7) True, they are color-blind, but they can see underwater and in the dark (James Bond would love this!)

8) They have the best electrical sensitivity of any animal. They find their prey (even those hidden in sand) by the electrical fields they produce. (Bond again...just sayin')

9) Great whites are among many species of sharks found in the Bay of Fundy: also sighted here are Sharpnose, Basking, Blue, Porbeagles, Whitetips, Makos, etc. (Repeat after me: "Aren't we lucky to have one of the world's most diverse marine ecosystems that hosts such a variety of fascinating creatures")

10) Great white sharks don't eat people: they prefer tuna, rays, other sharks, dolphins, porpoise, whales, seals, sea turtles, sea birds. When humans are involved (try these low stats: 31 human interactions in the Mediterranean in the past 2 centuries, most non-fatal) it's generally a case of mistaken identity: thinking a person's silhouette is a seal's. One bite = taste test, the kinda thing that happens in nature.

11) The last great white shark sighting in Bay of Fundy (until a couple weeks ago) was 6 years ago.

12) And, finally, Jaws author, Peter Benchley, and Jaws film director, Steven Spielburg, later worked diligently to dispel the image they created of great whites as man-eating monsters. (a bit late there lads but still a nice gesture ~ thank ye very much!).


bethane & beyond said...

Great commenterri! Thanks for fact-finding.

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

very cool post Terry.

KLM said...

Check out

They have pictures and video of a Shark taking a porpoise on Sept. 8. It's believed to have been a small Great White.

Anonymous said...

I thought your post is cool too!!!I'm amazed by sharks in general, and think of all the times I've jumped out of the boat on a hot summer day...kinda scary...just sayin'