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The Great White Shark
Transcript of The Great White Shark
By: Nathaniel Furlong & Noah Cullinane
Description of the Organism
Structure of Digestive System
Sharks bite their prey in massive pieces and have a U shaped stomach and very strong acids for dissolving most of what it has eaten.
Structure of the Heart
Sharks have a two chambered heart, with an atrium and a ventricle. The heart is in a s shaped tube near the head region. It has a closed system.
Great white sharks have gills that are exterior respiratory organs and their gas exchanges is a lot like osmosis in plants accept there is more bodily functions. Sharks have to move constantly so water flows over their gills. The gills of a white shark are filaments with capillaries, deoxygenated blood on one end of the fold and oxygenated blood on the other. The filament runs on either side of the gill slit. When water flows through the gills, the blood flows through those filaments reverse clockwise. This way the oxygenated water hits the deoxygenated capillary and diffusion takes place and oxygen enters the white sharks blood vessels and makes its way to tissues. Once the oxygen in water gets used, that water is now deoxygenated and flows over the oxygenated capillary now carrying blood away from the gills and into the circulatory system.
The Nervous System
The five main structures of the shark brain include the telencephalon (green), diencephalon (yellow), mesencephalon (light blue), cerebellum (blue), and medulla (red). The telencephalon, located in the fore brain makes up 39% of the total brain, this is responsible for memory, learning and spatial awareness. The diencephalon controls horomones, motivation and relaying information, takes up 6% of the brain. The mesencephalon is responsible for vision and behavioral responces. The medulla is involved in homeostasis and acts as a relay between the brain and spinal cord, it is 24% of the brain. The cerebellum involved in coordination of target tracking and analysis of the consequence of an organism’s own movement.
The great white sharks life cycle begins when the egg becomes fertilized, proceeds to hatch inside the mothers body, the pup is born, swims away from its mother without any care and grows up.
Four Unique Facts
Great white sharks are believed to have been living on earth for 400 million years. When a shark dies its cartilage dissolves and its teeth drop to the bottom of the ocean where they are covered with sandy sediment. This prevents oxygen and destructive bacteria from reaching the tooth allowing researchers to carry out in depth tests that help to determine the age of the fossil.
Research has concluded that sharks may be afraid of dolphins. In addition to this, there have been cases where dolphins have protected humans from sharks before. Mythbusters (a popular programe on Discovery Channel) tested this theory by placing a mechanical dolphin close to where a great white shark was feeding. Instead of the shark going for the bait or dolphin he avoided both of them.
Great white sharks don’t always eat whatever they have bitten. Most often they bite to determine if the object is worth their digestive time. If they have bitten it and don’t think it is worth their while they will leave it and find something better. It is almost like us people inspecting a menu and deciding what to eat. If we are not satisfied we’ll just look for something else or find another restaurant.
Latest studies show that the great white shark can live up to seventy years old.
Shark week - Discovery Channel
Mythbusters - Discovery Channel
Great white shark - Richard Ellis