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|Sand Tiger Shark|
A large shark, the sand tiger shark reaches an average size from six to nine feet in length and up to 300 pounds.
These sharks have a wide distribution and can be found in subtropical and warm temperate waters around the world (with the exception of the eastern Pacific Ocean). This includes the western Atlantic from the Gulf of Maine to Florida.
Found anywhere from shallow bays to coral reefs, these sharks can be found in coastal regions around the world (with the exception of the eastern Pacific Ocean).
These sharks primarily eat fish but will also feed on smaller sharks, rays, squid, crabs, lobsters, and squid.
Although young sand tiger sharks can fall prey to larger shark species, adults of these species have no major predators.
The gestation length is anywhere between 9 to 12 months and these sharks are ovoviviparous (eggs hatch within the body so young are born alive). Sand tiger sharks will give birth once every two years to two pups approximately 3 feet in length. The reason for the small litter size is that the largest embryo in each uterine horn will eat smaller developing embryos and eggs. This is called uterine cannibalism.
Scientific Name: Carcharias taurus
Size: African penguins range from 18 to 25 inches tall and weigh up to 11 pounds
Range/Distribution: The only penguin to breed in Africa, the African penguin ranges from Namibia to South Africa. Young penguins have been known to migrate north and west along the coastline and are found between Southern Angola, Namibia, and sometimes found off Gabon, Congo, and Mozambique, but generally reside in South Africa.
Appearance: The African penguin has a robust, torpedo-shaped body with black feathers on their back, flippers, and head while white feathers cover their front with the exception of horseshoe-shaped black stripe on the chest. Following the penguin’s first few molts a white stripe will develop around its cheek and throat. These birds have a bare patch above their eyes to assist with regulating their body temperature.
Habitat: When not hunting for food in the water, African penguins are found along rocky shores or brushy coastal areas.
Prey: African penguins feed on 25 species of fish, such as sardine and anchovy but also prey on squid and krill. A penguin may eat up to one pound of food or up to 14% of their weight.
Predators: African penguins face predation by gulls, feral cats and mongoose while nesting on land, while sharks and fur seals hunt African penguins in the water.
Life Span: The African penguin may live up to late 30 years in an aquarium or zoo but averages of 15-20 years are seen in the wild populations.
Mating Behaviors: There are no set breeding seasons for African penguins, however, most penguin pairs are monogamous and will remain together over several breeding years. The male will prepare a nest by digging a shallow burrow in sand or in brush using guano (penguin waste) and any materials nearby to complete the nest for the female to lay two eggs. Both the male and female share the nesting and chick duties, keeping the young safe from predators and warm temperatures. The chicks will hatch between 38 and 42 days and will leave the nest when they are between 60 to 130 days of age.
|The mission of Sea Research Foundation, Inc., which includes Mystic Aquarium, Ocean Exploration Center and JASON Learning, is to inspire people to care for and protect our ocean planet through education, research and exploration.|
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