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Entries in Discovery channel (2)


Why should sharks get all the glory? - its shark *PARASITE* week too

 Everytime you sit down to watch a premiere in this weeks Discovery Channel shark week, I want you to imagine something: every single shark you see is loaded with parasites.  All of them.  On the gills, sometimes on the skin, and especially in their unique spiral valve intestine, live a myriad critters that make their living off the top predators in the ocean.  Which makes you wonder, are they really the top?  Hmmmm….

In celebration of this carnival of diversity that exploits our toothy friends, AMNH curator/blogger Susan Perkins (ably supported by a veritable Who’s Who of fish parasitologists from around the world) is hosting a parade of bugs for shark week on her blog Parasite-a-Day. Here’s what she’s had so far:

August1. Anthobothrium, an elegant tapeworm.  Yes, I said elegant.  You got a problem with that?

August 2. Gnathiid isopods.  The ticks of the marine realm, blood meal anyone?

August 3. Branchotenthes robinoverstreeti.  A six-suckered monogenean from the guitarfish

August 4. Pandarus rhincodonicus.  A parasitic copepod that likes to hitch a ride on the lips oif whale sharks.

Keep an eye on the blog for the rest of the week and beyond.  Its a fantastic showcase of parasite diversity



Shark Week is here

In the past I've had mixed feelings about Discovery Channel's "shark week".  Its great for raising the   profile of our toothy friends, but it has tended to dwell on the gory or sensationalist stuff in the past.  This year, though, they seem to be pushing the conservation and science end of things a bit more, which of course makes me happy.  Georgia Aquarium (my employer) is their partner this year on the website, and they are featuring the web cam from our Ocean Voyager exhibit, which houses manta rays, whale sharks, lots of other sharks and a great teleost (finfish) collection too.  They're also hosting website Q&A with aquarium shark experts (tonights is at 10PM) after each premier on the TV channel, and vignettes from life working with sharks at the aquarium, including a couple of my lab-coated self.

So if you're into sharks, check it out.  And if you don't totally dig sharks - well, what's wrong with ya?