SCUBA News (ISSN 1476-8011)
Issue 271 - February 2023
More than 60 Japanese ships & aircraft were sunk by the US Navy in Feb 1944 during Operation Hailstone in Truk Lagoon. Nowhere else in the world can you find so many wrecks in such clear water, but which are the best?
World class diving in Egypt's southern Red Sea - with hammerhead sharks to dolphins, manta rays to nudibranchs. Go!
With its clear waters, diverse marine life and rich cultural heritage, Tunisia offers a unique diving experience.
From the Red Sea to Fiji, Maldives to Sudan. All fabulous diving destinations.
One of the extraordinary things about bull sharks is that they are as happy in freshwater as they are in the sea. They have even been seen far inland up the Mississippi river. Many spend time in the freshwater Lake Nicaragua - jumping up the river like salmon to get there.
Bull sharks - latin name Carcharhinus leucas - are medium-sized sharks with thick-set bodies. They are requiem sharks, related to tiger sharks and oceanic whitetips. Like these they are aggressive hunters. They eat all sorts of animals, including turtles, birds, dolphins, terrestrial mammals, crustaceans, fishes and other sharks.
The young bull sharks live in inshore estuaries but adults are highly dependent on coral reef communities for their food.
Female bull sharks return to their birth place to mate. The mothers are viviparous - they give birth to living babies rather than to eggs. Their litters contain between one and fourteen pups. A single litter of pups can come from two fathers. Scientists think that the female sharks mate several times with different males to increase either the number, or the quality, of their babies.
The IUCN now assess the bulls shark as "vulnerable", a step closer to endangered than their 2009 assessment. The location of nursery areas in estuarine and freshwater systems makes the species vulnerable to pollution and habitat loss. Other threats include recreational fishing and by-catch in commercial fisheries. In addition, global climate change is causing coral reef degradation, the feeding ground for adult bull sharks.
Simpfendorfer, C. and Burgess, G.H. 2009. Carcharhinus leucas. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: e.T39372A10187195.https://www.iucnredlist.org/.
Evidence of Partial Migration in a Large Coastal Predator: Opportunistic Foraging and Reproduction as Key Drivers? Mario Espinoza , Michelle R. Heupel, Andrew J. Tobin, Colin A. Simpfendorfer, February 3, 2016 http://dx.doi.org/10.1371
Raising sons is draining killer whale mothers, study finds
Study reveals biodiversity engine for fishes: shifting water depth
Paying fishers to ease off sharks and rays is cost-effective conservation
Why are scientists dying the ocean pink?
Mining at key hydrothermal vents could endanger species at distant sites
Three superb dive spots in March
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Photo credits: Tim Nicholson, Jill Studholme, Kristin Riser, Jianye Sui
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