A new species of shark has been discovered off the coast of South Africa. Named the “spinner shark,” it belongs to the genus Carcharhinus, which includes sharks such as the great white and tiger shark. This is the third type of carcharhinid known to exist today, and the first one found in the southern hemisphere.
The discovery was announced Wednesday by the International Commission for Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN), which oversees scientific names.
The ICZN says the shark was caught in 2016 near Port Elizabeth, South Africa. In addition to the spinner shark, it included specimens of another species called the blacktip reef shark, which had already been named by scientists.
According to the researchers, the spinner shark is about 2 meters long and weighs around 60 kilograms. Its dorsal fin is longer than its tail. Unlike other members of the genus, which are usually found in tropical waters, the spinner shark lives in colder water.
As far as we know, there are no reports of attacks by this species, although some members of the genus are considered dangerous predators.
Spinner Sharks & Rays
The shark known as the “Spinner Shark,” Carcharhinus Brevipinna, is one of the most dangerous sharks around. This species lives along the coastlines of Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Southeast Asia, and Japan. These sharks are often found swimming close to shore and feeding on bony fishes. They grow up to 9 feet long and weigh over 400 pounds.
These sharks are very territorial and aggressive towards humans. If you encounter one, do not approach it. Instead, swim away slowly while making loud noises. A good way to avoid being attacked is to wear a wetsuit.
Distribution and habitat of Spinner shark
The spinner shark lives among coral reefs, rocky outcrops, and sandy bottoms. Its diet consists mainly of small bony fishes such as sardines, anchovies, herring, mackerel, and other pelagic fish. Spinner sharks are oviparous; females give birth to litters of up to 12 young every 2–4 months. Females reach sexual maturity at about 5 years old, while males mature at 8–10 years old.
The spinner shark is a member of the family Lamnidae, along with the laminated sharks and smooth hounds. This species is distinguished from the laminated sharks by having a single row of teeth rather than three rows of small teeth. Like most lamnids, the spinner shark has a large head with a long snout and large eyes. Its body is moderately slender and covered with numerous small dermal denticles. There are no dorsal fins; however, there are several soft rays extending from the caudal fin. The pectoral fins are broad and rounded, while the pelvic fins are short and triangular. The anal fin is small and positioned far forward on the tail. The skin is thickly covered with tiny dermal denticles. The coloration varies considerably among individuals and populations, ranging from dark grayish brown to light yellowish green.
Taxonomy and phylogeny of Spinner shark
The spinner shark was originally classified as belonging to the genus Carcharhinus, along with the blacktip shark, smoothhounds, bull sharks, tiger sharks, white tip reef sharks, and requiem sharks. In 1972, it was placed into the family Rhincodonidae, together with the shortfin mako shark and the great whites. In 1993, this classification was challenged by Naylor, who argued that the spinner shark could not be assigned to any known group within the order Lamniformes. He suggested that it belonged either to the order Orectolobiformes, where it might be related to the blacktip shark, or to the order Squatiniformes, where it would form a clade with the shortfin makos, the giant guitarfish, and the longnose butterfly fish.
Naylor’s suggestion was largely accepted, although many authors continued to classify it as part of the family Carcharhinidae, including Randall J. Bergmann and David Ebert.
In 1997, researchers found that the spinner shark differed enough genetically from the rest of the members of the family Carcharinidae to warrant being classified in a separate family, Sparachromididae, making it the second member of the order Lamniforme to be given a family name.
Since 2002, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has recognized the spinner shark as a valid taxon, placing it in the suborder Sphyrina alongside the blacktip shark, the smoothhounds, the bull sharks, the tiger sharks, and the white tip reef sharks. The IUCN lists it as “Data Deficient”, meaning there are insufficient data to assess whether it is threatened.
Description of Spinner shark
The white tip reef shark is a relatively large member of the family Lamnidae, reaching lengths of up to 3 meters (10 feet), although it is usually much smaller. It is found worldwide in tropical waters over continental shelves and slopes, from surface waters down to depths of about. Its diet consists mainly of bony fishes such as mackerel, tunas, billfish, barracuda, grouper, tuna, marlin, wahoo, sailfish, swordfish, bonito, jack, horse mackerel, and herring; it also feeds on squid, octopus, jellyfish, crustaceans, cephalopods, sea turtles, and marine mammals.
White tip reef sharks are often seen near coral reefs and rocky areas where there is plenty of food. They are active during daylight hours, feeding mostly at night, though some individuals may feed throughout the day. Reproduction occurs throughout the year, including in winter months. Females give birth to litters of three to seven pups every two to four years. Off South Africa, females reach sexual maturity around 8.5 years old. Males mature at 10 years old. White tip reef sharks live to be 20 years old in captivity.
Coloring of Spinner shark
The most obvious difference between a shark and a fish is the presence of gills. Sharks breathe air while fish live in water. However, sharks do have one major feature that separates them from fish: skin coloration. While many fish are brightly colored, sharks tend to be much darker than their freshwater counterparts. This is because sharks spend almost all of their lives out of water. When exposed to sunlight, their bodies absorb large amounts of UV light, causing melanin production. Melanin is what gives sharks their brownish-gray color.
Sharks also differ from fish in their body shape. Fish have a streamlined body that allows them to swim quickly through the water column. Sharks, however, are elongated and broad, allowing them to move slowly through the ocean floor.
The second major difference between sharks and fish is their behavior. Most fish are active during daylight hours, whereas sharks are typically seen near shorelines at night. While some species of shark are known to feed during the day, others prefer to hunt at night.
Biology and ecology where Spinner shark can survive
The spinner shark lives near coastal areas where it feeds on small fish and crustaceans. They spend most of their time swimming slowly along the bottom of the ocean floor. Most species live in tropical waters. Females tend to be larger than males. This shark reaches about 5 feet long.
Spinner sharks are omnivores, feeding mainly on crustaceans such as crabs, shrimp, prawns, lobsters, crayfish, krill, shrimps, barnacles, molluscs, worms, echinoderms, cephalopods, and plankton. They have also been known occasionally to attack larger animals like turtles and whales. In some cases, they have even been observed eating dead bodies of marine mammals.
The largest recorded specimen was caught off Australia and measured 3.8 metres long and weighed over 2 tonnes. Other large specimens have been reported, though none have been verified. One was caught off New Caledonia in 1994 and another near Hawaii in 2000. A third was caught in the Indian Ocean in 2008, measuring 4.7 metres long and weighing nearly 2 tonnes.
They are typically solitary predators, although groups of up to 50 individuals have been seen chasing prey together. However, it is possible that this behavior is simply due to the fact that the sharks are usually very close to shore where there is plenty of food. Individuals have been documented hunting alone, and one individual was observed to chase a school of tuna for several hours without catching anything.
Life history of Spinner shark
The spinner shark is a small oceanic shark belonging to the family Hemiscylliidae. Its common name derives from the fact that it spins around like a wheel while swimming. It lives near coastal reefs where it feeds mainly on bony fishes such as groupers, snappers, jack crevalle, parrotfish, surgeon fish and wrasses.
Like most sharks, the spinner has no external ears nor eyelids. However, unlike many others, it does possess a swim bladder, although it plays little role in respiration. Although it lacks teeth, the jaws contain several rows of tiny conical teeth, similar to those seen in chimaeras. These teeth are used to sever chunks off large prey items.
Spinner sharks reach sexual maturity at about six years old and live up to 40 years. They grow up to 4 metres (13 ft) long. Males weigh 0.6 kg (1 lb 2 oz), whereas females weigh 0.8 kg (1 lb 10 oz).
The female gives birth to 3 to 20 (usually 7 to 11) young once every two years. Gestation lasts 15 months, during which the developing embryos receive nutrition via a placenta. A pair of eggs measure approximately 5 mm (0.2 in) wide by 8 mm (3/4 in) high. At birth, the newborns measure around 13 cm (5 in) in length.
A typical litter consists of five to eight pups, though litters of 12 or even 14 have been recorded. Pups begin to feed within 24 hours of hatching and reach full size at around 70 days. Sexual dimorphism is marked, with males being larger than females.
Spinner shark with Human interactions
Spinner sharks are generally harmless to humans. They rarely attack people unless provoked, and even then, most bites are minor nips.
However, they can become extremely agitated when hooked off the Florida coast and may charge toward divers or boats. If approached closely, they can make a loud snapping sound.
The spinner shark is one of the few sharks known to bite humans. This behavior is rare because it requires an unusually strong emotional response from the animal.
In 2007, a diver was bitten by a spinner shark near Key Largo, Florida. A second person was injured by a spinner shark in 2009, and another in 2010.
A third person was attacked by a spinner shark during a spearfishing trip off the Florida Keys in 2011.
A fourth person was bitten by a spiny dogfish shark in 2012.
A fifth person was bitten by a bull shark in 2013.
Fun Facts About Spinner Sharks
Spinner sharks are one of the most bizarre creatures you’ll ever see. They live in tropical waters around Australia, New Guinea, Indonesia, and parts of Africa. This species of shark is known for its unique hunting technique: it spins while jumping out of the water to catch fish. A single spinner shark can eat about 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of food every day.
The name “spinner shark” refers to the way these sharks spin themselves during the jump. When they land, they rotate up to three times in midair before returning to the ocean floor. Researchers believe that spinning helps the sharks maintain balance while they’re airborne.
A spinner shark can leap up to 20 ft (6.1 m). While the average length of a spinner shark is about 9 ft (2.7 m), some individuals reach lengths of over 21 ft (6.4 m)!
Engage Youth with Sailors for the Sea
Oceana, the largest global advocacy group working exclusively on environmental issues affecting people and nature, today announced it has partnered with Sailors for the Seas, an international nonprofit focused on building the capacity of young sailors around the globe to protect our oceans. Together, the organizations are launching the Kids Environmental Learning Program (KELP), a free online resource designed specifically for children ages 5–12.
The KELP program will provide parents and educators with easy-to-use lesson plans and resources to teach students about marine life and how humans impact the environment. These lessons will include fun activities like making saltwater aquariums, creating art projects, learning about coral reefs, and exploring the role of plastics in the sea. Students will learn about marine animals such as sharks, turtles, whales, dolphins, fish, jellyfish, octopuses, crabs, lobsters, eels, and mollusks while developing critical thinking skills, problem solving abilities, and communication skills.
“We know that teaching children about the importance of protecting the oceans starts early,” says Oceana Executive Director Amanda Paul. “Our partnership with Sailors for the Seas provides us with the opportunity to reach thousands of children across the United States and around the world. We hope that together we can help inspire future generations of ocean guardians.”
While the KELP program focuses on marine education, Sailors for the Seas is also committed to providing youth with opportunities to engage directly with the ocean. In addition to hosting events throughout the year, Sailors for the Sea partners with other ocean protection groups to organize campaigns, including the annual International Coastal Cleanup Day. This year, the campaign will take place September 18th – 20th, 2018, and will focus on plastic pollution.
“As a sailor myself, I understand how important it is to educate the next generation about the value of the oceans,” says Sailors for the Sea Founder and CEO Steve Russell. “I am thrilled to partner with Oceana to bring the power of the ocean into the lives of millions of children around the world.”
Reproduction system of Spinner shark
The sea otter is one of the most recognizable mammals in California. They are known for being playful and curious around humans. But there is another reason why sea otters are well loved — reproduction. Sea otters mate once per year, giving birth to a pup every 2-3 years. This cycle continues until the female dies.
Sea otters are born about 12-14 pounds and grow up to 20 pounds. Pups spend the first few weeks nursing and learning how to swim and dive. At 4-6 months old, they begin to eat fish. By 8-10 months old, males become sexually mature. Females reach sexual maturity at 10 months old.
While it takes a lot of energy to raise a pup, the benefits far outweigh the costs. During mating season, sea otters produce large amounts of hormones that cause them to lose weight and gain muscle mass. The female gains enough fat reserves to sustain her throughout pregnancy. She also produces milk to feed the young.
After breeding, females return to their natal beaches where they nurse their offspring for about three months. Then they move off shore to find food. Males remain close to the beach, protecting the pups from predators while providing protection from strong currents.
Lemon sharks are similar to nurse sharks because both are elasmobranchs (sharks, rays, skates), have three pairs of gill slits, and lack a lower lobe on the caudal fin. However, lemon sharks differ from nurse sharks in several ways. First, lemon sharks have teeth without cusps while nurse sharks have cuspate teeth. Second, lemon sharks have a single dorsal fin located farther forward, closer to the pectoral fins than the pelvic fins. Third, lemon sharks have a distinctly different color pattern than nurse sharks. Lemon sharks are dark gray dorsally, light gray ventrally, and pale yellowish orange laterally. Nurse sharks are white dorsally, pinkish orange ventrally, and brownish red laterally.
The most common species of shark found in the North Atlantic Ocean is the sand tiger shark (Carcharias taurus). This species occurs throughout temperate waters worldwide and is considered harmless to humans. In contrast, nurse sharks are highly venomous and dangerous to humans. They are known to attack divers and swimmers, and have been documented biting off fingers and toes.
The apex predator publications and reports series provides information about the biology, ecology, conservation, management, and threats of sharks and rays. All published papers are peer reviewed and include original data and analyses.