The cool thing about Twitter is that one can converse with scientists around the world from the comfort of your own home.
It's on Twitter where TFUI Founder Melissa met Samantha Sherman, a PhD student at James Cook University in Townsville, Australia (aka Melissa's dream school). Melissa began to follow Samantha's adventurous life , as she is currently working as part of the Global FinPrint project and is the secretary of the Oceania Chondrichthyan Society.
Samantha completed her undergraduate honours degree in Marine and Freshwater Biology at the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario, Canada in 2012. She then moved to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia to teach SCUBA diving, and began a Masters at James Cook University. The rest... well, all very exciting as Samantha travels the world!
She hopes to add to the limited knowledge scientists have of ray diversity, abundance and distribution, particularly in SE Asia.
One of the first sharks TFUI Founder Melissa was exposed to was the lemon sharks (Negaprion brevirostris) of Bimini, Bahamas under the watch of Dr. Samuel Gruber. These sharks can grow up up to lengths of 3 m (10 ft) and weigh up to 90 kg (200 lbs). #Finfact: The maximum record for a lemon shark was one individual that measured 3.43 m (11.3 ft) in length and 183.7 kg (405 lb)! Talk a big one! One distinguishing factor of these sharks is that their two dorsal fins are the same size, unlike other species whose second dorsal fin tends to be smaller than the first.
Part of the Carcharhinidae family, these sharks a yellow-green to olive colour that helps them camouflage with the sandy substrate they tend to favor in their tropical range. Lemon sharks are found off both coasts of Latin America and down the eastern side of South America. With large populations in the Caribbean, it's no surprise that important nurseries have been found in the Bahamas, particularly on the island of south Bimini. These animals are also known to have been seen up the eastern coast of the USA, and the western coast of Africa.
Baited Remote Underwater Video Stations (BRUVS for short) are one of the newer technological devices being used to study fish communities and biodiversity patterns.
Although a fairly recent marine device, they are becoming commonplace worldwide as a tool to survey fish sizes, abundance, and diversity. BRUVS consist of video cameras (sometimes GoPros) in PVC–acrylic housing held down by weight. At the end of the set up can be a mesh bag or crate filled with food to attract fish, sharks, rays, etc. Some people opt to not put food, so as to see the environment with little interference or influence as possible.
TFUI Founder Melissa C. Marquez is author of all animal bios and "Behind the Fins" segments.
SEE MELISSA'S TEDx TALK HERE:
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