Critter Science

The Science of Critters

Goblin shark

Goblin shark

Truth be told, humans have learned very little in regards to Goblin Sharks. While there are a few key factors that we are clear about, there is a plethora of specifics that we are completely unaware of. Although we have much to learn about these magnificent creatures, their physical appearances are familiar to us, and we can certainly

identify one if it showed up in our vicinity (even though the chances of that happening is highly unlikely).

To make matters even more intriguing, the pink color of the sharks actually does not derive from pink pigments in their skin. In fact, these sharks have a translucent dermis (skin) that enables us to see the oxygenated blood within their capillaries. Just in case you’re unsure, a capillary is a minuscule blood vessel. Basically, to a certain extent, we can actually see through the skin of these sharks. How incredible is that!

The snout and tooth structure are just as unique as their skin. These sharks have overhanging snouts that are tremendously elongated, yet flattened, and they form a blade-like appearance. The Goblin Shark’s long, slender, exceptionally sharp fang-like teeth are connected to their protruding yet extremely soft and delicate jaws. Some even describe these sharks as being “snaggle-toothed.” To make matters even more intricate, the snouts of these sharks are sprinkled with electro-sensitive ampullae of Lorenzini, which are tiny receptors that pick up electric fields. Because of the shape and look of its rubbery snout and fang-like teeth, they have been given numerous nicknames including “elfin shark,” “tiburon duende” (Spanish for “hobgoblin shark”), and “requin lutin” (French for “imp shark”).

Critter Man

With over 41 years of critter experience to my credit and hundreds of zoology teaching hours to people around the world, I have amassed not only a continuing thirst for critter knowledge but a desire to teach others all I can about the majesty and wonder of our natural world. Critter Science is a culmination of such knowledge. I have hands on as well as book acquired intel on all kinds of critters. Whether they're on land, sea, or air. I will never say that I know everything about all animals. That's impossible, even for a savant. But, that being said, ask me any animal question and I'll answer it. If I don't know the answer, I'll get an answer for you! Let it be said that I have been oft times accused of loving animals more than I love people. I can neither confirm nor deny this.

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