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Table of Contents
Enchanted Learning
All About Sharks!

Geologic Time Chart
Introduction to Sharks Introduction to Rays Anatomy Shark and Ray Species Extreme Sharks Extinct Sharks Classification Shark Glossary Shark Index Printables, Worksheets, and Activities

Shark Glossary
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U-Z

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If the shark or shark term you are looking for is not in the dictionary, please e-mail us.

Click on an underlined word for more information on that subject.

F


FALCATE

Falcate means sickle-shaped or hook-shaped. Some whales, like orcas, have a falcate-shaped dorsal fin.

FAMILY

In classification, a family is a group of related or similar organisms. A family contains one or more genera (plural of genus). A group of similar families forms an order.
Whale shark

FILTER FEEDER

Filter feeders are animals that eat by sieving through lots of sea water and straining out tiny bits of nourishment. The Whale shark, Basking shark, and Megamouth shark are filter feeders, obtaining plankton by sieving water through their gill slits.


FIN

A fin is a part of aquatic animals that helps them swim, steer, and balance in the water.


FINETOOTH SHARK

The finetooth shark (Carcharhinus isodon) is a shark that lives in shallow inshore waters off the eastern coast of the Americas in the Atlantic ocean. It has dark gray skin above, lighter skin below; there is a slight white band along the flank. Males are about 5.2 feet (1.6 m) long, females are about 4.9 feet (1.5 m) long. It has a pointed snout and long gill slits. The teeth are very small, fine, and clear. This shark often congregates in large schools. It eats small fishes and cephalopods. They are viviparous; there are 1 to 6 pups in each litter. At birth, pups are from 1.5 and 2 ft long Very little is known about this shark. Clasification: order Carcharhiniformes, family Carcharhinidae genus Carcharhinus, species C. isodon. The species name, isodon, means equal tooth; it was named isodon because this shark has the same number of teeth in the upper and lower jaws.

FISH

Fish are scaly, cold-blooded animals with fins that get their oxygen from the water using gills. Primitive fish evolved during the Ordovician Period (505 to 438 million years ago), long before the whales appeared.


FLIPPER

Flippers are wide, flat forelimbs that many marine animals use for swimming. Whales (and other cetaceans), pinnipeds, and many other marine animals have flippers.

FLOE

A floe is a sheet of floating ice, usually found in polar seas.

FLUKE

A fluke is a single lobe of a whale's tail.

FLUKES

The horizontal tail of cetaceans (whales, porpoises and dolphins) consists of two flukes. Flukes have no bones and are all muscle. Cetaceans swim by moving their flukes up and down in the water.
Food chain

FOOD CHAIN

A food chain is is the sequence of who eats whom in a biological community (an ecosystem) to obtain nutrition. A food web is all of the interactions between predators and prey in which plants and animals obtain food in an ecoystem. The chain starts with plants or other autotrophs (organisms that make their own food from light and/or chemical energy) that are eaten by herbivores (plant-eaters). The herbivores are eaten by carnivores (meat-eaters). These are eaten by other carnivores. When any organism dies, it is eaten by tiny microbes (detrivores) and the exchange of energy continues.

FOSSIL

Fossils are mineralized impressions or casts of ancient animals and plants. Fossils have been found on every continent on Earth.

FOSSIL SHARKS

Sharks have existed for over 350 million years. They evolved over 100 million years before the dinosaurs did. This was long before people evolved. Most fossil evidence of early sharks is from fossilized teeth and a few skin impressions. Cladodonts, primitive sharks, had double-pointed teeth, were up to 6 feet (2 m) long fish-and-crustacean-eaters and lived about 400 million years ago (mya). The earliest-known primtitive shark remains are fossil "scales" that date from about 420 million years ago, during the early Silurian. The earliest shark genera are Mongolepis, Polymerolepis, and Palaeospondylus.

FRILLED SHARK

Chlamydoselachus anguineus, also known as the eel shark, is a long, thin shark with a very long tail fin and a short snout. It grows to be up to 6.5 feet (2 m) long and is a light-brown color. It has 6 pairs of long gill slits (6 slits on each side of the body behind the head). Each gill slit is covered by frills of skin, hence its name. Its teeth have 3 cusps on a wide base. It has an anal fin and one small dorsal fin. The pectoral fins are short and rounded. The frilled shark is viviparous, giving birth to 8 to 12 live young in a litter after a gestation period of about 1 to 2 years. Pups are about 16 inches (40 cm) long. This shark is harmless to people and is found in the eastern Atlantic Ocean, the eastern Pacific Ocean, and the western Indian Ocean. It generally lives deep in the ocean (about 330-4,260 feet or 100-1,300 m deep) but is occasionally found at the surface. Very little is known about this shark. (Order Hexanchiformes, Family Chlamydoselachidae)

FUSIFORM

Fusiform means shaped like a spindle, tapering gradually at bone ends.
Zoom Sharks
Shark Glossary
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U-Z

Click on an underlined word for more information on that subject.
If the shark or shark term you are looking for is not in the dictionary, please e-mail us.

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