EFA: Etsy For Animals Etsy For Animals: ANiMAL MUNDi: A Very Scary Cookie by Corinna of TheFrogBag

Etsy for Animals (EFA) aka Artists Helping Animals,

is a team of independent artists, craftspeople,

vintage sellers and craft suppliers on Etsy.com

who are dedicated to providing charitable relief to animals

by donating a portion of the profits from their shops

to an animal charity of their choosing,

and/or to EFA's featured Charity of the Month.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

ANiMAL MUNDi: A Very Scary Cookie by Corinna of TheFrogBag

A Very Scary Cookie

The world is full of animals that are, to put it nicely, less than cute. Cute is great, but it’s a byproduct at most. What really matters in the wild is living another day. With Halloween approaching it seems appropriate to highlight a couple of animals this month that are fantastic at the job of surviving but truly terrible at the job of being cuddly. 

Most of the world is covered by water, but the oceans still seem to harbor a disproportionate number of horrifying critters. Sharks in particular often get sited as the stuff of nightmares, but how bad can something called a cookie cutter shark (Isistius brasiliensis) be? 

photo courtesy animaltime.com

Nicknamed “the cigar shark”, they only grow to about 20 inches long. This is not an animal that will take your leg off with one bite. Instead, this fish is a parasite, taking little pieces out of everything from seals to squid, and, in at least two documented cases, swimming humans and shipwreck survivors. 

Fortunately, they spend their days in the blackness of the deep ocean, far from anywhere that humans frequent. Then, vampire-like, they rise towards the surface after nightfall. When they encounter another animal, be it mammal, fish, invertebrate, or even plastic, they attack. 

In the blink of an eye they’ve attached their suction cup of a mouth, rotated their body, and used their terrifically sharp bottom teeth to carve out a perfect circle of flesh two inches across and two and a half inches deep. The resulting wound is painful and tends to scar badly. 

photo courtesy IO-9

It’s not uncommon to find the telltale marks of these little sharks on everything from tuna to the domes of submarines. I myself have seen half-healed bite marks on stranded sea lions I’ve helped rescue, testament to the mammal’s weakened condition prior to arriving on the beach.
Not content to let their feeding habits be the only disturbing thing about them, brasiliensis also glows in the dark. A complex network of photophores on their undersides emits an eerie green light that persists for a couple of hours even after the shark has died. The illumination is probably meant to mimic the outline of a small fish, thereby tricking larger predators into approaching close enough for the cookie cutter to flip the tables and take a chunk out of its would-be hunter.   

Not weird enough? How about the fact that this shark gives birth to live “pups” instead of eggs, after nourishing the young in not one but two distinct functional uteruses. The babies lack the distinctive dentition of the adults, but they soon take on adult characteristics including the ability to regrow their teeth.

photo courtesy: wikipedia

Starting to worry about going into the water? 

Cookie cutters don’t have any special affinity for humans. They’re true deep-water opportunists, so the chance of encountering one close to shore is very low. Still, if you do find yourself missing a chunk of flesh during a swim, look out! They’ve been known to travel in large schools, so the first bite will rarely be the last. 

Uncuddly doesn’t even begin to cover it where this shark is concerned...

1 comment:

  1. Wow, this is interesting!! Time for a swim, anyone????? lol


Please leave a positive comment :)
We shall publish it as soon as it is approved...
THANKS for visiting !

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...