Skip to main content

Cookiecutter Shark

Isistius brasiliensis
Today's animal is no joke! Though they only grow to be about a foot and a half long, they can do some really amazing looking damage to much larger sea creatures! Cookiecutter Sharks get their name from their relatively unique jaws and what they do with them. They have large, powerful sucking lips, a row of narrow teeth on the top, and a row of much larger, knife-like teeth on the bottom. Like other sharks, they regularly replace their teeth. However, instead of losing a single bottom tooth at a time, they replace the entire row at once! Old teeth are swallowed, giving the Cookiecutters a good source of Calcium.

Cookiecutter Sharks attract their much larger prey using bioluminescent photophores (which grow bright green). The bigger sea creatures will go after the shark, but in a twist they will become the actual prey. The Cookiecutter will latch on with its mouth, spin its body around, and remove a perfectly circular chunk of flesh (just like a cookie cutter does to dough). Seals, Marlins, Tuna, Whales, and larger Sharks have all been found with these circular chunks taken out of them. Cookiecutters have even taken bites out of rubber domes in submarines!

Cookiecutter Sharks are found in tropical and temperate oceans all over the world, and they undergo daily migrations between shallow and deep water. During the day they can be found as far as 2-3 miles down, but during the day they move toward the surface in order to feed.

The question that I'm sure many of you are asking is "what about people? Do they bite people?" The answer to this (99.9%) no. There has only been one documented case ever of a Cookiecutter Shark biting a human, and that occurred in Hawaii in 2009. Before that only two other instances of bites were recorded, but both were incidents where a person died in the water and bitten post-mortem.

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : Temperate and Tropical Oceans Worldwide
Size : Length up to 22in (56cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Chondrichthyes -- Order : Squaliformes
Family : Dalatiidae -- Genus : Isistius -- Species : I. brasiliensis

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Bornean Orangutan

The Bornean Orangutan is one of two extant Orangutan species in the world. It is the third largest primate (after Gorillas) and is the largest primarily tree-dwelling animal in the world. Males are substantially larger than females, and average at around 165lbs. Bornean Orangutans are largely solitary. A handful might live within a small range but they will seldom interact with one another. Males and females only meet up to breed, which happens only once every several years. A young Orangutan will stay with it's mother for about five years, and the females tend to go about eight years between births. That is the longest interim period of any animal! Sadly, the Bornean Orangutans are in a lot of trouble. They need large forests in order to thrive, and deforestation and habitat degradation has left many homeless. They are also hunted for meat and for traditional medicines. Conservation areas are being established to help these guys in the wild, and it is believed that there are a

Four!

For anyone who was counting, yesterday was our birthday-- four years! Four years filled with animals from A to Z, more than 1,100 of them! I can't thank my readers enough, it's been wonderful! And in celebration of that milestone... I'm taking a break. Hopefully not forever, but for a little bit at least. In the mean time I plan on getting a new layout out, along with some updates to some of the older articles. I'll post updates here and on the Facebook page, I'm also brainstorming some new animal-related projects, so keep an eye out! Thanks again for four awesome years!

10 Years?!

My goodness! It's been 6 years since I went on hiatus, and now more than 10 years since AaD was born, and what a world we've moved in to! Animal a Day is coming back- but in the meantime, check us out on Facebook, for your daily dose of #BIRDNEWS