Ocean Puzzle: Shark From Frigid Deep Sea Atlantic Waters Spotted In The Tropics Off Belize

When most of us think of sharks we imagine something from Jaws or perhaps Claws.

But the reality is only about a dozen of the nearly 400 species of sharks are at all interested in dining on humans. Of these, Great whites, bull sharks, tiger sharks , mako sharks, and oceanic white tips are the most dangerous. Shark attacks are rare but get the headlines. All of the 300 other shark species mind their own business. Some of them are very remarkable indeed.

Moon over northeast Greenland
Moon over northeast Greenland by NASA Goddard Photo and Video is licensed under CC-BY 2.0 The frigid waters off Greenland give the Greenland Shark its name.

The Greenland Shark, recently found way out of its normal habitat, is a case in point. Research suggests that females don’t reach sexual maturity until 150 and they may live to be 500 or more years old. Even more unusual is the fact that females carry the eggs of their young in their bodies until the eggs hatch. Ovoviviporus is the term,

Great White sharks, sea horses and rattlesnakes are also ovoviviparous.

scary shark opening mouth in water
Great White sharks are ovoviviporous like Greenland Sharks. Photo by Mile Ribeiro on Pexels.com

Greenland Sharks live near Greenland and they can be found across the Arctic and North Atlantic Oceans from the surface down to about 7,000 feet. They are big but slow moving and normally non-threatening. One might have attacked a human in 1859, so be careful as it may still be out there. They are carnivorous and subsist on fish and sometimes animals such as horses that drown and sink.

The fact that they seem to prefer cold water makes it surprising that one was recently spotted off the coast of Belize. Belize is in the Gulf of Mexico and borders Guatemala and Mexico. The shark was reeled in when it rose to some bait while researchers were investigating Tiger shark behavior.

A Greenland Shark may live 400 years. Brittanica photo.

According to Forbes Magazine:” Greenland sharks remain somewhat of an enigma to science. What is known about them is they tend to prefer the frigid waters of the Arctic and North Atlantic oceans, but they could be trolling the depths of the ocean all across the world. There is just so much scientists don’t know about them yet. ”

There remains some question about what kind of shark rose to the bait. The betting is on a Greenland shark. The most that is certain is that it is in the same family as the Greenland and it was big it probably is a Greenland. But it is possible it is a hybrid with a Pacific sleeper shark. Research findings were published in the journal Marine Biology.

Scientists might have made another surprising discovery. Yesterday we noted that modern research suggests plesiosaurs lived in fresh water. That was not believed previously. It may have implications regarding the Loch Ness Monster. Which has moved up the scale of plausibility.

Published by ursusrising

long time writer and editor living in Los Angeles

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: