Who is the shark of the week?!?!?
The Megamouth Shark!!!
Surprisingly, this shark species was discovered in only the past thirty years! The megamouth was first discovered in 1975 when a navy ship caught one in its anchor, but it wasn’t until 1983 that it was actually proven to exist (many people believed the military was bluffing in order to attract attention). What’s really neat is that only 54 have been seen and out of those 54 only 3 have been documented on film! These sharks have been spotted around Hawaii, Japan, and other places in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans. It comes to no surprise that this shark species has been deemed one of the rarest. Any kind of documentation of these sharks can be worth a lot of money to researchers because these sharks are hardly ever seen in the wild. But, before you go trying to find a megamouth, since there is extremely limited information on how these sharks interact with others researchers do not know the behavior of this shark species towards humans. They could be docile or hostile, who knows.
Many of the facts “known” about the megamouth comes through speculation. What is known, however, is that they are filter feeders. Some of their favorite food sources are jellyfish and plankton. Their jaws and gills allow them to take a mouthful of water and everything in it and filter it by the grates near their gills.
Based on pictures and videos, megamouths are believed to be from 13 to 16 feet in length and weigh up to 2,700 pounds.
This shark species looks a bit odd. Their head is large and disproportionate to their body and they have a short snout. Obviously, these sharks are known for their huge mouth and are named after this interesting feature. They have two unequal sized dorsal fins and their tail has a long upper lobe. The megamouth has a fleshy appearance so up close it kind of looks like it has many wrinkles.
Why did the megamouth make the Top Ten Shark Countdown?
As all of you can probably tell, I love sharks. So it also comes to no surprise that I watch Shark Week. Every. Single. Year. Lately, though, I’ve been disappointed with the program’s episodes. Everything seems very repetitive and it’s hard for me to learn anything new. It wasn’t until last year’s Shark Week when my love for it was rekindled.
They aired a documentary on the elusive and mysterious megamouth. I was instantly intrigued because this shark not only looks freaky, but it’s almost newly discovered. One of the reasons why no body knows much about this shark species is because they reside more towards the bottom of the ocean. I think it’s interesting how no one thinks too much of the sea floor, but there are so many undiscovered species down there.
What’s an even more amazing fact I learned about the megamouth is that it’s mouth is reflective. The inside of it’s mouth has a silvery coloring and when the mouth is opened it becomes almost a beacon of light. I found out that this aids in attracting prey down in the depths.
I can’t wait to see what else scientists and researchers learn about this shark. A megamouth shark is odd-looking, big, mysterious, intriguing, rare, and it’s number five on the countdown of Top Ten Sharks!