Science Diary: Sharks – Squids Attack!

Science Diary: Sharks – Squids Attack!

Music; Ambience: boat, hauling up a shark

JM: They’re known as silent killers of the deep, but sometimes even sharks get beat up. Welcome to Pulse of the Planet’s Science Diaries, a glimpse of the world of science from the inside. Ocean Conservationist Carl Safina is on board a research vessel sailing off the coast of Southern California. He’s here to study Blue and Mako sharks. But he’s also seeing evidence of a creature that puts up a fight against these legendary predators.

CS: “We have a Mako now, just an absolutely gorgeous animal, with a very serious looking set of teeth. And really interestingly on this one, something I’ve never seen before, it has marks from squid tentacles along its side. These are from Humboldt squid that have started to move up into the California Bay as the water has warmed here. And just last year they started seeing these marks on the side of the sharks.”

JM: Humboldt Squids, who are responsible for making these marks, are large and aggressive creatures, reaching up to 100 lbs and 6ft in length.

CS: “The sharks do attack and eat the squid, and the squids’ beaks are found in the sharks’ stomachs sometimes, but it looks like the squid give them a run for their money and don’t go down quietly. It’s got a-just a row of dark sucker marks along its side and a couple of slashes that scratch into the skin a bit.”

JM: As top level predators, sharks perform an important roll in their local ecosystem, by keeping the prey population at levels the system can support. For more information on Carl Safina’s work, please visit pulseplanet.com. Pulse of the Planet is made possible by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

Science Diary: Sharks - Squids Attack!

What weighs 100 pounds, has a beak, and fights sharks? A feisty California Calamari!
Air Date:02/24/2014
Scientist:
Transcript:

Science Diary: Sharks - Squids Attack!

Music; Ambience: boat, hauling up a shark

JM: They're known as silent killers of the deep, but sometimes even sharks get beat up. Welcome to Pulse of the Planet's Science Diaries, a glimpse of the world of science from the inside. Ocean Conservationist Carl Safina is on board a research vessel sailing off the coast of Southern California. He's here to study Blue and Mako sharks. But he's also seeing evidence of a creature that puts up a fight against these legendary predators.

CS: "We have a Mako now, just an absolutely gorgeous animal, with a very serious looking set of teeth. And really interestingly on this one, something I've never seen before, it has marks from squid tentacles along its side. These are from Humboldt squid that have started to move up into the California Bay as the water has warmed here. And just last year they started seeing these marks on the side of the sharks."

JM: Humboldt Squids, who are responsible for making these marks, are large and aggressive creatures, reaching up to 100 lbs and 6ft in length.

CS: "The sharks do attack and eat the squid, and the squids' beaks are found in the sharks' stomachs sometimes, but it looks like the squid give them a run for their money and don't go down quietly. It's got a-just a row of dark sucker marks along its side and a couple of slashes that scratch into the skin a bit."

JM: As top level predators, sharks perform an important roll in their local ecosystem, by keeping the prey population at levels the system can support. For more information on Carl Safina's work, please visit pulseplanet.com. Pulse of the Planet is made possible by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.