NOAA Teacher at Sea
Lynn M. Kurth
Aboard NOAA Ship Oregon II
July 25 – August 9, 2014
Mission: Shark/Red Snapper Longline Survey
Geographical area of cruise: Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic
Date: August 4, 2014
Lat: 33 54.763 N
Long: 076 24.967 W
Weather Data from the Bridge:
Wind: 16 knots
Barometric Pressure: 1017.74 mb
Temperature: 29.9 Degrees Celsius
Science and Technology Log:
Much to my surprise a sandbar shark will have around 35,000 teeth over the course of its lifetime! Similar to other species of sharks, a sandbar shark’s teeth are found in rows which are shed and replaced as needed. The teeth are not used to chew but rather to rip food into chunks that the shark can swallow. The shape of a shark’s teeth depends on the species of shark they belong to and what that particular species eats. For example, a tiger shark has razor sharp piercing teeth it uses to rip apart the flesh of its prey and a zebra shark has hefty flat teeth because it eats shellfish.
Did you Know?
- When sharks are born they have complete sets of teeth
- It was recently discovered that shark teeth contain fluoride
- Human teeth and shark teeth are equally as hard
- Shark teeth are not attached to gums on a root like our teeth
Through the years I have found that when I am doing something I love I usually meet people who I respect and find intriguing. I love being part of science at sea aboard the Oregon II and I’m not surprised that I have met several people who are passionate about issues that I find interesting. One such person is Katelyn Cucinotta, a member of my work shift, who has a passion for the proper care of the marine environment and what she aspires to do in the future to make that happen. Within minutes of meeting Katelyn she began educating me about the decline of several shark species and the difficulties marine life faces with the amount of man-made debris in our oceans. Katelyn co-founded an organization called PropheSEA in order to share information about the issues our oceans and marine species are currently facing.