Juvenile zebra shark. Image by Line1, licensed under Creative Commons.

Juvenile zebra shark. Image by Line1, licensed under Creative Commons.

To add a final flourish to shark week (last week), here’s a link to a great post listing a whole swag (posse? herd? *See below for collective nouns for sharks) of shark names. Some of the sharks are pretty, some are bizarre, and some of the names are very un-terrifying. And perhaps popularising these sharks might help with shark PR: after all, who could be frightened of the tasseled or floral-banded wobbegongs, the ginger carpetshark, or the scalloped bonnethead?

On the more scary side, there’s the cookie-cutter shark and the goblin shark: the former is small, but has jaws like a piranha which allow it to take a chunk of meat and speed away, while the latter has Alien-style extendable jaws that would make H. R. Giger pack up his pencil and take up watercolours (video of the goblin shark here).

My favourite, however, has to be the sulu gollum shark (Gollum suluensis). The sulu part of its name comes from the Sulu Sea, not Captain Sulu, while the gollum part is actually a reference to Tolkein’s famous character (so named because it looks a bit Gollum-like).

All of these sharks, along with many, many others, have evolved to suit their place in the appropriate ecosystem, and perform sterling service in terms of keeping ocean life in balance.

* And for those who are interested, there are apparently at least 3 collective nouns for sharks:

  • a school of sharks;
  • a shoal of sharks; and my favourite,
  • a shiver of sharks.

Keep on shiverin’. 🙂

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5 Responses to Shark-o-rama

  1. Wildlife TV says:

    Shiver of sharks suits them quite well!
    Sounds very melodic and fierce at the same time.


    • Alison Jobling says:

      It does, doesn’t it? Makes me think of their movement, and what I’d be doing if I saw them, all at once. 🙂

  2. Wildlife TV says:

    I was just reading about a new species of shark found and I thought of you.
    Here’s the link.


  3. Pingback: Biodiversity favourites | Biodiversity Revolution

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