The Cookiecutter Shark JAWS: of another shape

By: Lara Marinich

Cookiecutter sharks get their name from the shape of the wounds it leaves on its prey. Because of the shape of the wound some people also tend to call them cigar sharks because of their body shape.

Behaviors and Adaptations

The entire underside of the sharks' body glows because of photophores which are light-emitting organs in their skin. Some believe that this bioluminescence is used to blend in with the moonlight making it look like a fish and attracting prey, others believe though that it flashes attracting their predators to their tail-end, increasing their chances of living.

These Photophores can emit light up to three hours after the shark dies.

They feed by using their sectorial lips to suction itself to the prey, once attached it spins its body and uses the serrated teeth in its lower jaw to remove a chunk of flesh.

Sometimes when their triangular teeth are shed they will be swallowed and the digested and used for calcium to strengthen their skeleton.

From this fortified skeleton it also helps aid these sharks to potentially swim to deeper depths.

Cookiecutter sharks also tend to have an oily liver which is larger then most of the sharks similar to them, it is though to believe that this adaptation allows them to swim in deeper depths.

Human interaction

Only rarely are the Cookiecutter sharks caught while fishing because they tend to be more active at night, but besides this they can also be partially dangerous toward humans. If a threat to anyone though it would be to a long distance swimmer such as Mike Spalding. He was swimming one night, he had just turned on the light on the boat because he said that it was getting hard to see the boat. In the middle of feeding when he began to feel squid bump into him, making him uneasy, after the fourth bump he finally felt a painful prick on his sternum. Then as he was climbing into the kayak he felt another hit on his left calf, it had left a 2.5 by .75 in hole. This happened because they turned on the lights which then attracted the squid and the rest of the food chain and along with that came the Cookiecutter shark.

This is the images of a Cookie Cutter Shark attack.

Citations

Dove, A. (2011, November 17). The real cookie monster. Retrieved April 03, 2017, from http://www.deepseanews.com/2011/11/the-real-cookie-monster/

The Cookiecutter Shark Is A Weird Species Of Shark - Shark Sider. (n.d.). Retrieved April 03, 2017, from http://www.sharksider.com/cookiecutter-shark/

14 Facts About the Cookiecutter Shark. (2014, June 05). Retrieved April 03, 2017, from http://mentalfloss.com/article/57124/14-facts-about-cookiecutter-shark

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