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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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OCEANIC WHITETIP SHARK

Carcharinus longimanus is a large, thick-bodied, slow-moving shark with very large, paddle-shaped pectoral fins and white tips on its pectoral, and dorsal fins and tail. It is not closely related to the smaller whitetip reef shark. It can grow to be about 13' (4 m) long, but is usually about 10 feet (3 m) long. It is a potentially dangerous predator, very aggressive and eating just about anything. It lives far offshore and in depths up to 500 feet (150 m). They have litters of up to 15 pups (the number of pups increases with the size of the mother) after a 1 year gestation period. It is found in all tropical and subtropical waters.


ODONTOCETI

Odontoceti (toothed whales) are predators with peg-like teeth; they eat fish, squid, and marine mammals. They include orcas, narwhals, belugas, sperm whales, beaked whales, dolphins, and porpoises.

OMNIVORE

Omnivores are animals that eat both animals and plants.

OPPORTUNISTIC FEEDER

Opportunistic feeders are animals that eat whatever food is convenient at the time. Beluga whales are opportunistic feeders, eating a very varied diet.


ORCA

Orcas, or killer whales, (Orcinus orca) are toothed whales, powerful carnivores that eat fish, squid, and marine mammals. They grow to be about 27 feet long (8 m) and weigh about 8,000 - 12,000 pounds (3600-5400 kg).

ORDER

In classification, an order is a group of related or similar organisms. An order contains one or more families. A group of similar orders forms a class.
Nurse shark

ORECTOLOBIFORMES

A clade of shark that has an anal fin, 5 gill slits, 2 dorsal fins, no fin spines, and the mouth in front of the eyes. These include the carpet sharks: the wobbegong, nurse, bamboosharks, blind, zebra, and whale sharks.


ORTHACANTHUS

Orthacanthus was an ancient, fresh-water shark that had a long spine growing from the back of its skull. It had a very long dorsal fin, which ran all along the sharks back, giving it an eel-like appearance. Order Xenacanthiformes

OSMOSIS

Osmosis is a process in which water flows across a semi-permeable membrane from an area of higher concentration of water to an area of lower concentration of water, effectively moving to equalize concentrations. In the case of sharks vs. sea water, water flows from the sea water into the even-saltier shark via gill tissues.


OVIPAROUS

Oviparous animals hatch from eggs. Some sharks, like the Port Jackson shark and the nurse shark, are oviparous.

OVIPHAGOUS

Oviphagous (meaning "egg eating") animals hatch from eggs, but the eggs hatch and the babies develop inside the female's body. There is no placenta to nourish the pups. The pups are cannibalistic; they eat any unfertilized eggs and their siblings. Very few pups in a litter survive until birth. Sand Tiger sharks are oviphagous.

OVOVIVIPAROUS

Ovoviviparous animals hatch from eggs, but the eggs hatch and the babies develop inside the female's body. There is no placenta to nourish the pups. Great white sharks are ovoviviparous. Ovoviviparity is now called aplacental viviparity.
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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