I am so lucky. I have been recruited to help during some of our shark training sessions. I am responsible for bridging them when they successfully take food from the target pole. AND I get to desensitize them to tactile behaviors. So basically when a shark swims by the surface I reach down and touch it gently along its back and hope that it doesn’t freak out or thrash. These types of behaviors are important for the sharks to be comfortable with so that they aren’t as stressed during their yearly physicals.
We recently added two female sevengill sharks to the Monterey Bay Habitats exhibit. They were collected from the San Francisco Bay, a sevengill shark hotspot. Here are their stats:
She Shark 1
6.7 feet - 2.01 meters
83 pounds - 37.6 kilograms
She Shark 2
5.3 feet - 1.64 meters
42 pounds - 19.2 kilograms
… And two out!
The new girls are replacing two other sevengills that were just returned to the San Francisco Bay, as a part of a long-term scientific monitoring program.
By measuring how fast these animals grow in our exhibit—where we know how much they’ve eaten and how cold the water was—we can assess how healthy their food supply is in the wild, if we find the sharks again. And by using satellite tags, we’ve found that our sevengill sharks can go on massive migrations up and down the West Coast!
Sevengills are usually with us for a year or so before they head back to the ocean. Before your next trip, you can catch them on our new shark cam.
The Broadnose Sevengill Shark is the only extant member of its genus. Whereas most other sharks have 5 gill slits, sevengill sharks are recognisable because of its 7 gill slits.
Like many other fish, the shark uses counter shading as a of camouflage. Its dorsal surface is silvery grey in colour, which allows it to blend with the dark waters beneath it when viewed from above. Conversely, its ventral surface is light in colour, matching the sunlit surface when viewed from below.
An opportunistic predator, the broadnose sevengill preys on a great variety of animals. It has been found to feed on sharks, rays, chimaeras, cetaceans, pinnipeds, bony fishes, and carrion. These sharks occasionally hunt in packs to take down larger prey, using tactics such as stealth to succeed.
We just released a healthy sevengill shark into the bay. She was on exhibit for a year, gaining 2.5 inches and 14.5 pounds! This rotation of sevengills through our exhibit is great for shark fans—and shark conservation. By displaying, tagging and releasing these beautiful animals, we’re learning more about sharks and what can be done to save them.
Went SCUBA diving in the shark tank for the first time. My friend snapped a picture of me while I was cleaning the acrylic. The first thing they told me when I got in was “The sharks have the right of way, so stay back.”
Researchers came to the rescue of a sevengill shark earlier this week after the frightened predator literally flung itself out of the sea in an effort to escape a pod of killer whales that were hunting it.