Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Porbeagle

Lamna nasus
The Porbeagle is a large shark that is found in the cooler and temperate waters of the world's oceans. They can grow to lengths of around 12ft, and weigh over 500lbs!

The name "Porbeagle" is a mysterious one. It's exact origins are unknown, though there are a few theories. One is that the name comes from Cornish terms for "harbor" and "shepherd." Another is that it is a combination of the words "porpoise" and "beagle," because of its porpoise like shape and dog-like hunting ability.

Like many large sharks, the Porbeagles give birth to live young. They have up to 6 at a time, which take 8-9 months to gestate. At birth the young sharks are already more than 2ft long! Also like other members of their family, Porbeagles are effectively warm-blooded. They have vascular counter-current heat exchangers in their muscles which allow them to store up all the heat that they generate through fast swimming. They can make their bodies warmer than the surrounding water, which is why they can live in such cold areas.

Porbeagles are actually listed as Vulnerable, and some local populations are Endangered. They have been hunted commercially for their meat and fins in a number of countries, and because they take so long to grow it is difficult for them to quickly repopulate. Also, even though they are very large, Porbeagle attacks on humans are very, very rare.

IUCN Status : Vulnerable
Location : Temperate and Cold Oceans
Size : Body length up to 12ft (3.7m)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Chondrichthyes -- Order : Lamniformes
Family : Lamnidae -- Genus : Lamna -- Species : L. nasus
Image : Citron

1 comment:

  1. I had always wondered about their name. (Ha! Not enough to look it up, I guess. One of those things you wait to stumble upon. So thanks!)

    I just found your site, and my little guy and I are going to have fun going through old posts until you get back from vacation.

    Cheers!
    Lu
    http://lusylvan.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete

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