Day 39: 8/03/2013: Part 1 Elephant Sharks & Circus Elephants

This isn’t an elephant blog, it’s a shark blog. But I like that it sometimes meanders into interesting places—into the realms of other animals—pet shop fish, frogs, elephants and tigers. But before I talk about my annual summer circus protest, I will at least talk about the elephant shark because this oddball fish offers me an interesting transition to the circus in Part 2.

First, the elephant shark (also known as the “ghost shark”) lives in the waters of Australia and New Zealand. It’s silvery and strange and vulnerable to overfishing. It ends up in fish and chips a lot. With its eerie color and the floppy “hoe-like” appendage hanging off its snout, (it can sense the movement and weak electrical fields of prey), the elephant shark frankly makes the goblin shark seem a creature of sublime beauty.

As alien as these sea beings are, they are also being studied as a link to human ancestry, in the elephant shark genome project. I couldn’t find a way to save elephant sharks tonight, but I did stop to sign this petition about ending shark finning in New Zealand where elephant sharks live. I admit, it’s a rather thin connection, but a rising tide lifts all sharks or something like that.

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