Mysterious giant sharks may be everywhere

moncler outlet online They can be as big as great white sharks, but that’s about as far as the comparison goes. Their maximum speed is a lethargic 1.7 miles per hour, many are almost blind, and they are happy to eat rotting carcasses. They may be common throughout the ocean, but you’ve probably never heard of them. Meet the Greenland shark. moncler outlet online

Looking like nothing so much as a chunk of weather beaten rock, Greenland sharks (Somniosus microcephalus) can grow up to 7.3 metres (24 feet) long, making them one of the largest of all cheap moncler sale fish, and the biggest in the Arctic. But they prefer to live in deep, cold water, so humans rarely see them.

moncler factory outlet Studies in the Arctic have revealed a few snippets of information about Greenland sharks, and more data is now starting cheap moncler to come in from elsewhere. It turns out that Greenland sharks are bizarre, and may be crucially important for the ocean ecosystem. moncler factory outlet

View image of (Credit: NOAA OKEANOS Explorer Program, 2013 Northeast US Canyons Expedition, CC by 2.0)

Greenland sharks only come close to the surface in places where the shallow water is frigid enough for them primarily in the Arctic. They are most easily seen around moncler sale Greenland and Iceland. As a result, they were long thought of as purely polar animals, as were the closely related Pacific sleeper shark and southern monlcer down jackets sleeper shark.

But they have been reported on the coasts of Canada, Portugal, France, Scotland and Scandinavia. Some researchers think they live in many other areas too but just haven’t been spotted in them yet.

moncler outlet sale „They may be everywhere that’s cold enough and deep enough,” says Aaron MacNeil of the cheap moncler jackets Australian Institute of Marine Science, in Townsville, Queensland. moncler outlet sale

The obvious way to see a Greenland shark in the wild is to dive into the deep sea. For instance, in 2001 a remotely operated vehicle in the Gulf moncler outlet online of Mexico captured footage of either a Greenland shark or a sleeper shark in over 2,600 metres (8,530ft) of water.

They may be everywhere that’s cold enough and deep enough

moncler outlet Two years later, a pilot and a scientist from the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution in Fort Pierce, Florida, became the first people to come face to face with a Greenland shark in the deep sea. The shark, which was five metres (16ft) long, bumped into their submersible vessel 1,000 metres (3,280ft) down in the Gulf moncler outlet sale of Maine. moncler outlet

But hardly anyone dives that deep. So these rare encounters can’t tell us how widespread and important the Greenland sharks are.

moncler outlet uk View image of Greenland sharks used to be heavily fished (Credit: ARCTIC IMAGES / Alamy) moncler outlet uk

cheap moncler jackets sale However, if the history of fishing is any guide, Greenland sharks are common as muck. The sharks were fished from the early 20th century until the 1960s; mainly for their liver oil, which was used as lamp fuel and industrial lubricant. In some years, over 30,000 were taken. That suggests a very healthy population. cheap moncler jackets sale

cheap moncler outlet In line with that, a recent expedition used 120 hooks on a moncler outlet longline, and caught 59 sharks. „I think they’re fairly common,” says Aaron Fisk of the University of Windsor in Ontario. „When we want to catch them we don’t have any trouble.” cheap moncler outlet

cheap moncler jackets So buy moncler jackets what are all these Greenland sharks eating? To find out, scientists have to get their hands dirty by cutting open the sharks’ stomachs and pulling out the remains of their meals. cheap moncler jackets

It seems the sharks aren’t too concerned about the freshness of their meals

moncler jackets outlet So far this kind of work suggests the menu of the Greenland shark is highly varied. As well as fish, they eat just about anything that might fall off the ice, including reindeer and polar bears. moncler jackets outlet

Given a chance it seems they will even try to eat moose. Last November, a man in Newfoundland found a Greenland shark gagging on a piece of moose hide, which had probably been thrown into the water by a hunter. He and another moncler mens jackets man decided to save the shark from choking on the hunk of moose. „A couple yanks and it just came right out,” he told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

It seems the sharks aren’t too concerned about the freshness of their meals Researchers have found small crustaceans called amphipods in their stomachs. These critters swarm over dead bodies in deep waters, so finding them hints that the sharks sometimes eat carrion.

moncler outlet store View image of „My eye! moncler sale outlet It on my eye!” (Credit: Louise Murray / Science Photo Library) moncler outlet store

moncler jacket sale That would make sense, because it’s hard to understand how a Greenland shark could ever catch living prey. moncler jacket sale

moncler sale For one thing they are absurdly slow, moving more sluggishly than any other shark. One satellite tagging study found that they usually meander about at around 0.8mph (1.1kph), accelerating to 1.7mph (2.7kph) when going all out. Others say they can reach 2.2mph (3.5kph) Moncler Outlet. Regardless, many of the things they might want to cheap moncler coats eat can swim faster. moncler sale

If that wasn’t enough, many Greenland sharks appear to be almost blind. The culprit is Ommatokoita elongata, a crustacean with the nasty habit of permanently attaching itself to the front of the sharks eyes, damaging their corneas (see the photo above). In some populations, 90% of Greenland sharks carry these parasites. The shark that rammed the Harbor Branch submersible had them dangling from its eyes.

cheap moncler coats So how do Greenland sharks catch anything? It has been suggested that the parasitic crustaceans might be bioluminescent, and that the light they give off attracts fish for the shark. But that’s „poppycock”, says George Benz at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro. He says the scientific literature on the sharks is „contaminated” with unsubstantiated claims like this. cheap moncler coats

moncler outlet jackets View image of A harbour seal (Phoca vitulina), also known as lunch (Credit: imageBROKER / Alamy) moncler outlet jackets

moncler sale outlet Benz thinks the sharks are more likely to be ambush moncler outlet store predators. For example, Arctic seals sometimes sleep in the water to avoid polar bears, potentially allowing Greenlands to sneak up on them. moncler sale outlet

The seals also have to poke their heads through ice holes to breathe, giving the sharks an opportunity to catch them unawares. „They can still see light and dark, and a hole in the ice is like a big flashlight that says where the food comes in,” says MacNeil.

No one has directly observed Greenland sharks catching seals in this way, but there is some circumstantial evidence. Large numbers of dead seals with „corkscrew” wounds have been recovered at Sable Island off the coast of Nova Scotia. Some were bitten in half, while others had the skin and blubber stripped from the lower halves of their bodies. „We’re thinking those are Greenland shark bites,” says MacNeil. „When they bite, the seal spins to get away, stripping the blubber away literally as it’s trying to get out.”.

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