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Shark Snack Attack!

Word of the Week

Galeophobia (gal-ee-oh-foh-be-uh): An abnormally large fear of sharks. This fear is so intense, that people struggle spending time on boats, going to the beach, or even visiting the aquarium. The word comes from the Greek words galeos meaning "small shark" and phobia meaning "panic" or "fear of."


Yassou!


That's right. It's shark week! The perfect time of year to kick back and learn a little more about these incredible creatures. This year, it runs from July 11-18th. You're not too late to dive into the world of sharks!


I have two words for you. Chlamydoselachus Anguineus. Ummm. . .what? It's the scientific name for the frilled shark. The what? For starters, take a peek at the picture below.

Photo taken from: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2015/01/21/frilled-shark-sea-monster-caught-australia-coast/22099613/


And now for the interesting facts about this strange looking creature.

  • It's named for its gills. Most sharks have separate gills, but the frilled sharks first pair of gills go all the way across its throat, with each pair lined with red "fringe."

  • It has 25 rows of backward facing teeth. . .a grand total of 300 teeth in total. It's nearly impossible to escape once they have a hold!

  • Although its body resembles an eel, it actually hovers in the water and is very buoyant.

  • Scientists believe it strikes its prey like a snake, but to date, no one has actually observed a frilled shark eating.

  • Living at depths of 390-4,200 feet, the frilled shark is seldom seen but is found all over the world.

  • Males are 3.2-3.6 feet in length, while females are 4.4-4.9 feet long. The largest known frilled shark came in at 6.4 feet.

  • Pups are typically born in litters of 6. They are born live, but the gestation period is roughly 42 months long! That's almost four years! That's nearly twice as long as elephants! Scientists also hypothesize that this is connected to their cold deep sea habitat.

  • They were first seen in their nocturnal habitat in 2004.


If that doesn't give you a small case of galeophobia, I'm not sure what will. I hope you find all of this as interesting as I do. Perhaps I'll share another interesting shark with you next year.


Last year, we had a great time creating book sharks and food sharks. This year, I have a super fun game in mind. Shark Snack Attack!



What you'll need:

  • A cardboard box

  • Paint

  • Scissors or a craft hobby knife (adults, this is your job)

  • Construction paper

  • Glue

  • Markers

  • Googly eyes (optional, but fun)

  • Bean bags (or homemade bags using balloons and rice or beans)

How it's done:

Paint your box blue, like the ocean! Create your shark using any kind of paper, however big or small you choose. Draw and cut out the shark's mouth separately on a different piece of paper. Take the mouth and trace its shape onto the box. With the help of an adult, use a craft hobby knife to cut the mouth out. Paste your shark on the box, add some googly eyes, and voila! If you're making bean bags to match, fill balloons with rice. Of course, I had to make the bean bags look like fish. . .it only seemed fitting. Toss the bags into the shark's mouth, and have FUN.


Happy feeding!

Gram

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