Dubbed a Lemon
The Lemon shark is not named thus because of a temperament which is slightly on the bitter side or because they leave a bitter taste in the mouth. They are named as such for the yellow – brown pigmentation to their skin, which allows them to blend with their sandy seafloor habitat. Indeed reader, we will explore the true temperament of the lemon shark and the taste for a shark that probably does wish it would leave a bitter taste in a humans mouth.
Fruits of the Mangrove
If you trek through a mangrove swamp in the spring/ summer months you may come across 4-17 newly born lemon shark pups. You will find them sheltered in the protection of the Mangrove trees roots, were large predators cannot reach. Each learning the art of being a shark with their fellow brothers and sisters, until they are big enough and tough enough to protect themselves out in the big, wide ocean. A few months ago I am pretty sure I saw a documentary where scientists were researching whether these young pups had personalities. It turns out they did and that the lemon pups hung around in friendship groups. In these mangrove environments the pups are specially adapted to soak up as much oxygen in their environment as they can. As there is not much oxygen content in the water. It takes six years for lemon sharks to mature and they are thought to live up to twenty seven years. As they get older their range advances from 6-8 kilometres to 300 kilometres!
These nursery grounds are under threat. I’ll let you have three guesses on the cause… Humans! Humans are degrading the habitat for sharks and other species by ripping up the mangroves and replacing them with hotel complexes for holiday makers.
92 meters below
Lemon sharks live 92 meters below on continental shelves of the Eastern Pacific and Western and North Eastern Atlantic. Adults are usually found swimming around coral keys, docks, saline creeks, bays, river mouths and fringes of mangroves. In groups of either one individual shark or up to twenty (well everyone needs time alone sometimes). The lemon sharks are very fussy (sorry selective) in the way that they eat. They know what they like and what tastes good and they won’t settle for less.
Another threat to lemon shark populations is the fact that they are eaten and that their fins are highly prized for the Shark fin soup trade. So now you see why they would wish to leave a bitter taste in a humans mouth?
and the next species is…
I’m excited to announce that tomorrows shark species will be… Drum roll please… The Hammerhead shark! Which I am very excited to research about for this blog, as I don’t have much prior knowledge about the Hammerhead.
I am Swimming for Sharks to raise money and awareness for their conservation so please do visit my Just giving page; justgiving.com/fundraising/Kerry-Payton1