Shark Diving Protocol

Shark Human Interaction

Classification

Shark Habits

Shark Physiology

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A. Body Shape:

Swimming is essential for buoyancy and that is why sharks have a fusiform body(round and tapering at both ends). This shpae reduces drag and minimises swimming effort.

B. Caudal Fins (Tail fin):

The shark’s lower lobe is smaller than the sharks upper lobe and thus when swimming if propels the shark downwards and forwards.

C. Pectoral Fins:

The main function of the pectoral fin is to provide lift to counteract the caudal fin’s downward motion. These fins are rigid and results in a horizontal passage through the water.

D. Horizontal Keel:

The horizontal keel (thickened ridge on top of the caudal fin) is an adaptation for fast swimming because it reduces turbulence.

E. Scales:

As a shark or batoid swims, scales create a series of vortices or whirlpools behind each scale. This enables a shark to swim efficiently.

F. Swimming Speed:

Generally sharks swim at speeds less than 5 kph but some sharks such as Makos can reach a speed of 48 kph. Bottom sharks are usually slow swimming.

For more information go to www.seaworld.org and search their database.

All information from the Buschgardens institute www.buschgardens.org

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