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Shark Terminology




Terms Menu :: Terms 1 A-D :: Terms 2 E-L :: Terms 3 M-Z ::


Nictitating Membrane:
A thin membrane that can cover the entire eye, usually found beneath the lower eyelid or at the inner angle of the eye. The shark’s nictitating membrane is similar to that of the common house cat.


Oviparous:
Producing eggs that will develop and hatch outside the body of the mother shark.


Ovoviviparous:
Producing eggs that develop and hatch within the mother shark’s body, resulting in live birth.


Pinniped:
Seals, Sea Lions, (a main dietary choice of Great White Sharks) and walruses.  


Prey:
An animal that is being stalked as a food source for another animal.


Pup:
The term used when referring to a baby shark.


Pupping Ground:
A place that is sought out by female sharks where they will either lay their eggs or give birth. Usually in shallow waters where there is good covering of seaweed for the pups to hide in. 


Spiracle:
This is a small area found behind the eye of many shark species. It is another type of respiratory opening (place to intake water for breathing) that allows the shark to
continue pumping water over the gills and through the gill slits even when resting on the bottom. In many free-swimming sharks, such as the Great White, the spiracle is either nonexistent or reduced in size.   


Viviparous:
Giving birth to live shark pups who developed as embryos entirely within the uterus.


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