WRITE UP OF ENDANGERED SPECIES
DECEMBER 6TH, 2007
THE ANGEL SHARK (Squatina squatina).
In the past few decades, the interest by many in protecting and preserving the world’s
biodiversity have increased. Human activities, around the globe, possess a threat to
biological communities. It has been proposed that many biological species will go extinct
in the coming decades (Richard Primack, 2004). One such biological species which is going
extinct is the angel shark.
The Angel sharks are flat-bodied sharks, very ray-like, with broad pectoral fins that
bury themselves in the sand or mud with only the eyes and part of the top of the body
exposed. They have a blunt snout and are camouflaged to blend into the sand and rocks
of the ocean bed. They have long, wide fins that look like wings, giving it its name. It is
also known as the monk shark, sand devil, and monkfish. While the forward part of the
angel shark's body is broad and flattened; the rear part retains a muscular appearance
more typical of other sharks. The eyes and spiracles are on top, and the five gill slits are
on bottom. Both the pectorals and the pelvic fins are large and held horizontally. There
are two dorsal fins, no anal fin, and unusually for sharks, the lower lobe of the caudal fin
is longer than the upper lobe. Angel sharks have small, sharp teeth in trap-like jaws. They
eat fish, crustaceans, and mollusks. All angel sharks capture their prey by ambush. Lying
almost invisible beneath a layer of sand or silt, they wait until a hapless victim
approaches before engulfing it with lightening speed, in its trap-like jaws. Their narrow
pointed teeth are ideal for holding prey, most of which is swallowed whole. Tests on the
feeding habits of angel sharks have shown that they react to any passing prey, spitting out
anything that does not appeal to their appetite. They have complete faith in...