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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

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.

L



LAMNIFORMES

A clade of shark with an anal fin, 5 gill slits, 2 dorsal fins, no fin spines, the mouth extending behind the eyes, and no nictitating eyelids. These include the mackerel sharks: the basking, goblin, megamouth, great white, crocodile shark, thresher, porbeagles, sandtiger, and mako.

LANTERN SHARKS

Lanternsharks are a genus of small sharks that have luminescent photophores (organs that produce light). These sharks live in the deep seas in a dark environment. There are about 17 different species of lanternsharks. Classification: Order Squaliformes, Family Squalidae (dogfish sharks), Genus Etmopterus.


LATERALIS SYSTEM

The lateralis system (or lateral line) is used by sharks to detect vibrations. It is a network of fine, fluid-filled vessels that run along a shark's body under the skin along the length of a shark. Many small pores open up on the skin, detecting the intensity and direction of vibrations in the water.
Laurasia

LAURASIA

Laurasia was the northern supercontinent formed after Pangaea broke up during the Jurassic period. Laurasia included what are now North America, Europe, Asia, Greenland, and Iceland.


LAVA

Lava is molten rock. It usually comes out of erupting volcanoes.


LEMON SHARK

Negaprion brevirostris is a yellowish shark that average 8-10 feet (2.45-3.1 m) long and lives near the surface and at intermediate depths.

LEOPARD SHARK

Triakis semifasciata, the leopard shark, is a beautiful, harmless shark with leopard-like markings. This sluggish fish can grow to be up to 6 ft (1.8 m) long. This cat shark has small, sharp, pointed teeth with which it catches fish worms, clams, crabs, shrimp,, and octopus. This social shark travels in schools. It is found off the North American coast from Oregon, USA to Baja, Mexico. It is viviparous, and gives birth to up to 24 pups each spring. This shark is being depleted by over-fishing. Classification: Order Carcharhiniformes, Family Scyliorhinidae


LESSER SIXGILL SHARK

The Lesser sixgill shark (also known as the Calf shark and the Bigeye sixgill shark) lives in warm temperate seas, usually living on the bottom. It averages about 6 feet (1.8m) long. The skin ranges from dark gray to light gray. Classification: Order Hexanchiformes (frilled and cowsharks), Family Hexanchidae (cowsharks, sixgilled and sevengilled sharks), Genus and species Hexanchus vitalus (Springer and Waller, 1969) or Hexanchus nakamurai (Teng, 1962) - the latter is preferred.
Carolus Linnaeus
LINNEAN SYSTEM

The Linnean System is a method of classifying organisms based on a simple hierarchical structure. Organisms are divided into groups using the following system: Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus and Species.

LIVER

The liver is a large internal organ in vertebrates that secretes bile, a digestive liquid. The large, oily livers of sharks give them buoyancy, since the oil is lighter than water.

LOBE

A lobe is a single, rounded part of the body, such as part of a shark's tail, a whales flukes (tail), or our ears. Shark tails are asymmetrical; the upper lobe is larger.

LONGFIN MAKO SHARK

The longfin mako shark (Isurus paucus), is very similar to the shortfin mako, but has longer pectoral fins and a blunter snout. It is also less-common shark than the shortfin mako. Longfin makos reproduce via aplacental viviparity (they bear live young but the babies are not nourished via a placenta in the womb; cannibalism often occurs within the womb). Makos can maintain a body temperature higher than that of the surrounding water. This large-toothed shark is found in deep tropical and warm temperate oceans. Females average 10 ft (3.3 m) long; males average 13.5 ft (4.2 m) long. Order: Lamniformes


LUMINOUS SHARK

The luminous shark (Isistius brasiliensis) is a small, large-eyed predator that lives in deep tropical ocean waters worldwide. It is also known as the cookiecutter shark, the cigar shark (due to its color and shape), and the Brazilian shark. This shark emits a green glow from its belly. This brown shark grows to be almost 2 ft (50 cm) long and has a blunt snout. The dorsal fin is small and closer to its tail than on most sharks. The large eyes have green pupils. It is harmless to humans and is rarely even seen by divers. It eats by taking cookiecutter-shaped bites out of its victims with its long teeth and powerful jaws, mostly attacking large fish and whales (including dolphins). In an attack, the cookiecutter shark attaches to its victim with its lips like a suction cup (it created a vacuum). It then uses saw-like teeth that swivel and take an oval-shaped bite of flesh. The belly of the cookiecutter shark has a small patch of bioluminescence on it. This patch is thought to lure fish to it in the dark, deep ocean environment. Hungry fish think the cookiecutter is a smaller fish than it is (because the patch is smaller than the cookiecutter and that is all they can see in the dark); the cookiecutter can then ambush and bite the surprised "hunter." The cookiecutter reproduces via aplacental viviparity, but little else is known about its reproduction.

LUNGS

Lungs are organs that many animals use to breathe air. Cetaceans (whales, porpoises, and dolphins) have lungs. Sharks do not have lungs.
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

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