Label: Sharks

March 8, 2011


Today’s "Cool Photo of the Week" was taken at the opening of the Grand Aquarium in Hong Kong’s Ocean Park. Although it looks as though these tiny fish are about to become lunch for the humongous Grey Nurse Shark swimming behind them, these fish actually work as a team.

The small fish are pilot fish, and they eat fish lice, little crabs, and blood sucking worms that live on the skin of the shark. The pilot fish suck on the shark’s skin and keep it clean, and in exchange, the shark doesn’t eat them. This is also a smart way for the pilot fish to avoid other predators, because most of their enemies are careful to stay away from sharks.

 There have even been reports of smaller pilot fish swimming into a shark’s mouth a cleaning away bits of food caught between its teeth… living dental floss!



Photo courtesy of’s “Animal Tracks



Posted by: Seymour Simon

(2) Comments  •   Labels: Animals Nobody Loves, Animals, Sharks, Oceans, Cool Photo   •  Permalink (link to this article)

January 21, 2011

Ever wonder how the hammerhead shark can see where it’s going when its eyes are on the sides of its head? Marine biologist Dr. Michelle McComb of Florida Atlantic University has been studying hammerheads and she found that these strange-looking creatures have incredibly good binocular vision. “Binocular vision” simply means that you use both of your eyes at the same time and see one image. We humans have good binocular vision, too, at least straight in front of us. But hammerheads, with their widely spaced eyes, have clear binocular vision above, below and even behind themselves! That is very useful when your diet depends on catching fast-moving prey, and it is probably why the species evolved in this way.

Ironically, the only place that hammerheads don’t have great vision is straight in front of them. However, they have nostrils near each of their eyes, and Dr. McComb says they use “enhanced stereo smell” to make up for that blind spot.


Posted by: Seymour Simon

(6) Comments  •   Labels: science news, Animals Nobody Loves, Animals, Sharks, Cool Photo   •  Permalink (link to this article)

August 11, 2010

There’s a fascinating story in today’s Science News.

An international team of scientists and a British University are building a new computer program that they believe will enable them to identify every great white shark on the planet. The University of Bristol is developing software that will automatically recognize and record individual dorsal fins of the most powerful predators that cruise the world’s oceans - the individual fins of great white sharks are as identifiable as our human fingerprints.

The project is based on the work of Swiss marine biologist Michael Scholl, founder and director of the White Shark Trust, who has spent a decade photographing over 1,500 great whites. He and his colleagues hope that once we have a record of the sharks and their territories, scientists will be able to develop a true record of how many great whites are out there and observe behaviors never before witnessed - like great whites mating or giving birth.

Look at this wonderful picture. This is Dr. Scholl trying to photograph a great white, who took a bite out of his camera!

















Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: science news, Sharks, Oceans   •  Permalink (link to this article)

June 9, 2010

We received a photo from last Saturday’s appearance at the New York Aquarium, along with this note from his mother:

"Conor met his favorite author at the NY Aquarium for the special events.  He was shy,  but he was glad to meet him.  He learned so much about sharks and other creatures from him. It was a great experience."

Thanks to Conor and everyone, children and adults, who came out to the FISH TALES day at the Aquarium. I enjoyed meeting all of you! Happy Fish Tales!

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: Sharks, Kids comments, User Uploads   •  Permalink (link to this article)

March 26, 2010

One of the most exciting things we saw at the CTIA Wireless convention this week was today’s Keynote address. The panel speakers included Aneesh Chopra (the White House Chief Technical Officer or CTO); Biz Stone (co-founder of Twitter) and James Cameron (director of AVATAR). 

When the moderator asked Cameron what is most on his mind when it comes to wireless, he (predictably) said "Be thinking about your 3D apps, because this stuff is coming."

Then Cameron said something that blew my mind - I don’t know why I didn’t think of this myself. He said that you don’t need 3D glasses for a single-viewer experience on a small screen like a smartphone. You simply tilt the screen until the image comes into 3D focus for you.

I’ve written ten 3D books for Scholastic Book Clubs, and they have been very popular with kids. The idea that I can do 3D phone apps, or 3D eBooks, is very exciting. For those reading this who are teachers, Scholastic’s Lucky Book CLub is featuring "See in 3D: SHARKS" and "See in 3D: UNDER THE SEA" this month, and will offer "See in 3D: WILD WEATHER" in their April 2010 flyer.

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(4) Comments  •   Labels: eBooks, Sharks, App   •  Permalink (link to this article)

March 19, 2010

My grandson Jeremy never outgrew his love of dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals….in fact,  at 11 years old he is the one of the most knowledgeable people I know on this topic. The other night he was telling me about a recent discovery of Ice-age Fossils at the La Brea Tar Pits In Los Angeles, including the first intact skeleton of a mammoth. He knew the names of all the animals involved and many details of this important find.

This story,  from today’s Live Science news, is for Jeremy (and all the kids, both young and grown-up, who love dinosaurs). A shark attack that took place 4 million years ago has just been reconstructed from the extinct hunter’s fossilized victim - a dolphin.  Prehistoric Shark Attack Reconstructed Ribs of a dolphin that lived some 4 million years ago shows bite marks made by the teeth of an ancient shark called Cosmopolitodus hastalis during an attack. Credit:  Giovanni Bianucci. 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: science news, Sharks, Cool Photo   •  Permalink (link to this article)

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