Jan 12, 2006

Blind and Loving It

This creature, the greenland shark, was submitted by one of our readers, Kelly.

These are some of the few sharks that decide to stay in arctic waters year-round. Besides being ugly and freezing, these fish have some other noteworthy qualities.

To start: see those green things over its eyes, with the tendril? That is a parasitic crustacean. These sharks are famous for being slow moving and lethargic. That is why it was a mystery when salmon and seals, among other fast moving creatures, were found in their stomachs. Now it is understood that those parasites have a symbiotic relationship with their host. The parasite's motivation: they get to feast on shark cornea and make the fish permanently blind. The shark's motivation: the parasites lure food in close so they don't have to work so hard to eat.

Photo courtesy: http://www.willsmodels.co.uk.

This has worked so well that they have even found reindeer in these sharks stomachs.

Also, these sharks are highly toxic. When Inuit decide to cook one up, if they don't first boil the meat several times, in several different pots of water, they poisoned, similar to being intoxicated by alcohol.

Photo courtesy: http://www.grandmanannb.com.

As if that weren't enough, they also wreak of ammonia. These sharks have several strikes against them:
1) They are naturally ugly.
2) Those eye parasites add to the ugliness, and point out how lazy these fish are.
3) They are toxic.
4) They stink like cat pee.

Thank you, Kelly!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

No, Raging Wombat. They don't "wreak" of ammonia. They REEK of ammonia.