A shark is a predatory cartilaginous fish. Sharks are found in all types of seas, but typically prefer warm water. About 250 different species of sharks exist, ranging from the 2-ft pygamy shark to the 50-ft whale shark. Sharks have pointed noses and crescent-shaped mouths with several rows of triangular teeth. Sharks are warm-blooded animals, which means that their body temperature is higher than that of the water.

Actually, last week, in my college biology class, we watched a documentary all about Great White Sharks. If you study these sharks, you will find that they hunt in specific ways for their prey. They prefer a single target, which poses less of a threat. The shark cruises along the bottom, scanning the surface for the silhouettes of prey, such as sealions, dolphins, or seals. Their dark coloring on their dorsal side enables them to be unseen from the surface. The ventral white coloring prevents lower animals from seeing them above. Once a target is spotted, the shark picks up speed and crashes into the animal with a surprise attack. Normally, this huge blow either kills the target, or stuns them, allowing the shark to deliver another blow. The sharks backs off, waits for the animal to die, and then moves in for dinner. A shark uses its tail to assist it in sawing off pieces of food. They clamp on to the dead animal with their teeth, and then violently move their tail back and forth, sinking their teeth in farther, and ripping off a bite. On average, one shark makes about three kills a year, depending on the size of the targets.

Individual sharks compete for access to prey. Dominance is related to their size, with the larger sharks being more dominant, and also feeding first. They express dominance by body language. Characteristic postures are used to signal their intentions.
A term used by my friends and I to describe certain game players (typically paintball players). A shark will spare little to no expense to give himself an incredible advantage over other players.

For example, in paintball, sharks are those players who purchase guns with a base price of $500+, and then spend anywhere from $200-$2000 more on said gun. On a small, regulated field where most people play, they have an overwhelming advantage in shot velocity, accuracy, and rate of fire, especially against those people armed with rental guns. Since I am a poor college student, I cannot afford to spend the amount of money it would require to put up a decent challenge to these people, even though I have the necessary combat skills.
This definition is not limited to paintball, but can also be applied, for example, to those Quake players who spend as much money as possible outfiting their computers with the latest in hardware in order to give themselves an advantage in frame rate.

Sharks take the fun out of most games.

There are over 380 species of sharks in the world, and of those a small percentage have attacked humans. While the risk of being attacked by a shark is extremely small, there have over the years been many documented attacks by a variety of species. Below is a list* of those species who have, to a near certainty, attacked humans in the past:

  • Carcharodon carcharias -- Great white
  • Galeocerdo cuvier -- Tiger
  • Carcharhinus leucas -- Bull
  • Carcharias taurus -- Sand tiger
  • Carcharhinus spp. -- Requiem
  • Carcharhinus limbatus -- Blacktip
  • Sphyrna spp. -- Hammerhead
  • Prionace glauca -- Blue
  • Carcharhinus melanopterus -- Blacktip reef
  • Isurus oxyrinchus -- Shortfin mako
  • Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos -- Grey reef
  • Carcharhinus brachyurus -- Bronze whaler
  • Negaprion brevirostris -- Lemon
  • Carcharhinus perezi -- Carribean reef
  • Carcharhinus brevipinna -- Spinner
  • Carcharhinus plumbeus -- Sandbar
  • Ginglymostoma cirratum -- Nurse
  • Carcharhinus longimanus -- Ocean whitetip
  • Orectolobus barbatus -- Wobegong
  • Carcharhinus obscurus -- Dusky
  • Triakis semifasciata -- Leopard
  • Carcharhinus falciformis -- Silky
  • Notorhynchus cepedianus -- Sevengill
  • Carcharhinus galapagensis -- Galapagos
  • Carcharhinus gangeticus -- Ganges
  • Galeorhinus galeus -- Tope
  • Isistius brasiliensis -- Cookiecutter
  • Isurus spp. -- Mako
  • Lamna nasus -- Porbeagle
  • Sphyrna lewini -- Scallopped hammerhead
  • Squalus acanthias -- Spiny dogfish
  • Triaenodon obesus -- Whitetip reef
  • Alopias spp. -- Thresher
  • Carcharhinus albimarginatus -- Silvertip
  • Carcharhinus altimus -- Bignose
  • Carcharias ferox -- Bigeye sand tiger
  • Cetorhinus maximus -- Basking
  • Heterodontus francisci -- Horn
  • Hexanchus griseus -- Sixgill
  • Rhincodon typus -- Whale
  • Somniosus microcephalus -- Greenland
  • Sphyrna zygaena -- Smooth hammerhead

Of these species, the only ones considered to be truly dangerous to humans are the Great white, Tiger, Bull and Whitetip.



*These data were gathered from the International Shark Attack File, which compiles the information concerning confirmed attacks by sharks on human from 1580 to present. The species presented in the list are presented in order of the number of attacks during that period, and all species other than the Great white, Tiger and Bull have been implicated in fewer than thirty attacks in three hundred years. Furthermore, it must be kept in mind that several of the attacking species could not have possibly killed a human; for example, the whale shark has no teeth, and the dogfish is so small as to be able to do little more than wound an adult.

The Shark metanode!

I figured that my E2 username gives me the moral responsibility to make sure that my namebrethren - the sharks - are properly covered here on E2. The sharks are gorgeous, yet somewhat savage creatures, definitely worth a lot of information.

Nodes about sharks:

For nodes about shark types, please refer to the english names in the list further down in this writeup.

Shark encounters:

Movies featuring sharks:

Shark music:

Misc shark nodes:


Complete list of shark types:

Type: Hexanchiformes (Sixgill, Sevengill, and Frilled sharks)

Chlamydoselachidae family:

Hexanchidae family:

Type: Squaliformes (Dogfish sharks)

Echinorhinidre family:

Squalidae family:

Ozynotidae family:

Type: Pristiophoriformes (Sawsharks)

Prisiophoridae family:

Type: Squatiniformes (Angelsharks)

Squatinidae family:

Type: Heterodontiformes (Bullhead sharks)

Type: Orectolobiformes (Carpetsharks)

Parascyllidae family:

Brachaluridae family:

Orectolobidae family:

Hemiscyllidae family:

Rhincodontidae family:

Type: Lamniformes (Mackerel sharks)

Odontaspididae family:

Pseudocharchariidae family:

Mitsukurinidae family:

Megachasmidae family:

Alopiidae family:

Cetorhinidae family:

Lamnidae family:

Type: Carcharhiniformes (Groundsharks)

Scyliorhinidae family:

Proscylliidae family:

Pseudotriakidae family:

Leptochariidae family:

Triakidre family:

Hemigaleidae family:

Carcharhindidae family:

Sphyrnidae family:

The english shark names that are linked are noded - that way, you will not have to dig through hundreds of broken liks if you want to read shark information :) If you have any suggestions for additional nodes or anything else that needs to be changed in this node, /msg me.

Of course, the answer was staring me in the face; William Blake's devourer is personified as the shark. I contemplayed both concepts - insofar as the shark is a concept - but failed to make the connection. Perhaps, subliminally, Blake was planting seeds in my mind. Seeds of shark. The shark is an interesting animal. According to Wikipedia, the online encyclopaedia, the shark was once called a 'sea dog', and in Blake's time would probably have been so-called. Certainly, Blake knew of the tiger and presumably also the lion, but I cannot think of any historical figures who were associated with the shark. We talk of 'loan sharks', but we would never talk of 'loan lions'. We would certainly not talk of 'Richard the Sharkheart', or 'The Shark King'.

This is odd in itself, this lack of noble association, as the shark is a powerful animal, a killer, and one would expect nobility to associate this animal's ruthless psychopathy with themselves. The lion and the unicorn are standard heraldric symbols, and no man would be displeased if he were to be reincarnated as a lion, or as a unicorn, although unicorns are somewhat feminine. Notwithstanding the success of 'Jaws', sharks have remained roughly in the same category as spiders and jackals, in that they are dirty animals, underhand animals. There is no reason to their killing, they merely kill as instinct. Like many of the creatures which live in the ocean depths, they are alien, despite - in the case of whales and dolphins - being more closely related to us than the butterfly, for example, another furry cuddly creature which I like to hug. Although there is a continuity of life, from the oceans to the land and to the air, we dwellers of the land tend to associate more with other land-dwellers and with birds than we do with fish and aquatic mammals. Even the dolphin, the most cuddly of all oceanic creatures, is still held in something closer to respect than familiarity. There is a barrier between us; where is their God?

We respect dolphins, perhaps some of us might one day hope to be a dolphin - whether through magic or genetic tampering, or vicariously, via the 'magic' of SCUBA - but they are still alien, Other; in the sense that one cannot imagine insulting a dolphin, or treating a dolphin with scorn or disgust, all of which are essential if we are to be equal. I can insult a cow, or a pig, and I can also respect a cow, or a pig, and therefore we are equal, me and cows and pigs. But man's relationship with the dolphin is based on a mixture of awe and curiosity, and as long as this persists we cannot be friends. Human relations cannot exist either, without the 'negative' emotions, otherwise we are simply placing the other party on a podium, turning them into an exhibit, a statue to be contemplated rather than a being as oneself. That is how I shall relate to the naked woman, another figure I hold in awe - I shall insult her. The naked woman is no different to the clothed woman, with whom I can communicate as one man to another man; it is only the lack of clothes that creates a wall.

And so the shark. As far as I am aware there have been no attempts to communicate with the shark. Man has long considered the shark to be the enemy of all that is pure and good; vermin to be destroyed. It is widely accepted that dolphins are potentially as intelligent as ourselves, and there have been attempts to teach them some form of language, as if they were benign alien visitors. Yet there have been no such attempts to communicate with the shark. Just as we accept the dolphin to be intelligent, so we accept the shark to be a mindless eating machine. Perhaps this is why we do not respect the shark. Lions project a noble air, and anyone who has been on safari will have seen lions sitting in the shade, gazing at the horizon. What does the lion think about? It does not matter, it is enough that it thinks, and that it is seen to think. The shark, however, does not rest. It cannot, for its 'gills' require a steady stream of water in order that the shark does not 'drown'. The shark is ever-restless, with no time for philosophy or music. What does the shark do, when it is not eating? What is the colour blue, when it is not blue? What is the sound of laughter, set in stone? Slow... glass?

Sushi. That's what she called me. Cold fish. What could the shark teach us, or us it? They have no hands to grip, and as far as I am aware they cannot 'sing', as the dolphin and the whale sings. Reading through a profile on Sharks in Wikipedia, the online encyclopaedia, it seems as if they are similar to the RADAR antenna-festooned WW2 night fighters, such as the later models of Bf-110 and Mosquito, able to detect infinitesimal quantities of blood in a large volume of water, just as the night fighter could detect a small quantity of metal in a large volume of air. "The sharks rely more on their superior sense of smell to find prey, however, once the shark is in the general area of the prey, the shark also uses the lateral lines running along the side of the shark to sense electrical pulses sent out by wounded or dying fish". I learn also that sharks are most definitely fish, and not mammals. If sharks are turned upside-down, they pass out, which is how researchers - and so there must be some, at least - handle the shark. And that is also how we must also handle the Jew.

"Until the late 16th century sharks were usually referred to in the English language as sea-dogs. The name "Shark" first came into use around the late 1560s to refer to the large sharks of the Caribbean Sea, and later to all sharks in general. The name may have been derived from the Mayan word for shark, xoc, pronounced "shock" or "shawk". The term for a group of sharks is a shiver" - although in my own opinion, a 'shock' of Sharks would be better. Apparently some sharks are homeothermic, which sounds a bit like 'homophobic', and I could have made a pun around that but I'm sorry, I have crashed. I cannot go on. Bring them on, lure them on, as if you were luring a snake into a corridor of guillotines; and then, when you can see the head, when the snake is stretched out, cut it to shreds.

Shark (?), n. [Of uncertain origin; perhaps through OF. fr. carcharus a kind of dogfish, Gr. , so called from its sharp teeth, fr. having sharp or jagged teeth; or perhaps named from its rapacity (cf. Shark, v. t.&i.); cf. Corn. scarceas.]

1. Zool.

Any one of numerous species of elasmobranch fishes of the order Plagiostomi, found in all seas.

Some sharks, as the basking shark and the whale shark, grow to an enormous size, the former becoming forty feet or more, and the latter sixty feet or more, in length. Most of them are harmless to man, but some are exceedingly voracious. The man-eating sharks mostly belong to the genera Carcharhinus, Carcharodon, and related genera. They have several rows of large sharp teeth with serrated edges, as the great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias, ∨ Rondeleti) of tropical seas, and the great blue shark (Carcharhinus glaucus) of all tropical and temperate seas. The former sometimes becomes thirty-six feet long, and is the most voracious and dangerous species known. The rare man-eating shark of the United States coast (Charcarodon Atwoodi) is thought by some to be a variety, or the young, of C. carcharias. The dusky shark (Carcharhinus obscurus), and the smaller blue shark (C. caudatus), both common species on the coast of the United States, are of moderate size and not dangerous. They feed on shellfish and bottom fishes.

2.

A rapacious, artful person; a sharper.

[Colloq.]

3.

Trickery; fraud; petty rapine; as, to live upon the shark.

[Obs.]

South.

Baskin shark, Liver shark, Nurse shark, Oil shark, Sand shark, Tiger shark, etc. See under Basking, Liver, etc. See also Dogfish, Houndfish, Notidanian, and Tope. -- Gray shark, the sand shark. -- Hammer-headed shark. See Hammerhead. -- Port Jackson shark. See Cestraciont. -- Shark barrow, the eggcase of a shark; a sea purse. -- Shark ray. Same as Angel fish (a), under Angel. -- Thrasher shark, ∨ Thresher shark, a large, voracious shark. See Thrasher. -- Whale shark, a huge harmless shark (Rhinodon typicus) of the Indian Ocean. It becomes sixty feet or more in length, but has very small teeth.

 

© Webster 1913.


Shark, v. t. [Of uncertain origin; perhaps fr. shark, n., or perhaps related to E. shear (as hearken to hear), and originally meaning, to clip off. Cf. Shirk.]

To pick or gather indiscriminately or covertly.

[Obs.]

Shak.

 

© Webster 1913.


Shark, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Sharked (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Sharking.]

1.

To play the petty thief; to practice fraud or trickery; to swindle.

Neither sharks for a cup or a reckoning. Bp. Earle.

2.

To live by shifts and stratagems.

Beau & Fl.

 

© Webster 1913.

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