The class Chondrichthyes belong to the Phylum Chordata. Chondrichthyes is a class that contains cartilaginous fishes. The animals in this class are jawed vertebrates that have paired fins, paired nares, a two-chambered hear, scales, and a skeleton composed up of cartilage, and a pair of nostrils. Due to their skeleton being made of cartilage, it is very flexible. This blog will be focusing on one of it’s most famous animals. Based on the description I gave can you guess which animal we will be focusing on?………..
SHARKS !!! Great White sharks to be specific, belong to the Kingdom Animalia, Phylum Chordata, Subphylum Vertebrata, and Class Chondrichthyes and are known as Carcharodon carcharias.
Ask yourself, what exactly do you know about Great White Sharks? I know that what I knew I gathered from movies, the Animal Planet or the news. Prior to researching sharks, I will admit that I held and still hold a bit of a prejudiced view. My limited interactions with the subject of sharks have all mostly been negative. When I think of the word shark, I think of a strong, vicious, and agile predator. The word tends to have a negative connotation when I hear it. The only “good” thought I had of sharks was when I played my Shark Tales video game.
In essence, sharks get a very bad reputation with people. Most people see them as a sort of scary entity that only wreaks havoc and eats surfers’ limbs. However, through this blog, I would love to show that though there are merits in the fear that shark produces in people’s minds, sharks also play an important role in their environment.
When looking at sharks have you ever thought how exactly they are able to maneuver so well in water? Though they are quite large and appear menacing, if they are not agile they will not be able to catch their prey or will easily fall prey to another animal. Depending on the type of shark, they can be found in either shallow coastal regions or deep waters on the ocean floors. The presence of sharks in the ecosystem serves as a regulator of other animals. Without sharks being present in their respective environments as a predator to other predators, the population of predators would vastly increase, and deplete the amount of prey in the ocean, which would, in turn, affect the marine life and ocean itself. Though scary, sharks play a very important role in the marine ecosystem.
Since they are instrumental to the health of the ocean, sharks have to be swift, agile and coordinated in order to keep order in the sea. Sharks are able to swim by moving their heads side to side in the water and use their fins to stabilize and steer themselves. Located on sharks are different kinds of fins that help them function and navigate in the water. For example, their dorsal fins, located on their back help keep sharks from rolling over. Depending on the species will determine the amount of dorsal fins present.
On the side of the sharks is a different type of fin known as the pectoral fin. Pectoral fins are used for steering and help the shark stay lifted in the water. Pectoral fins also help with stabilizing the big body of the sharks. The last two types of fins are the anal and caudal fin. The anal fin is found on the underside of the shark and used for stabilization. Anal fins are not found on all sharks. The final type of fins is the caudal fin which is composed of a top and bottom part. The caudal fin helps with propelling the shark through the water.
This was just a brief synopsis of how sharks are able to maneuver in the ocean. Please come back and join me next time when I speak in depth about any unique anatomical features they possess. I am hoping that by reading my blog, I am able to make people reconsider their prejudice in regards to sharks. Thank you and see you again soon.
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