A blue Christmas can't be complete without Prionace glauca, the blue shark. Prionace is Greek, prion meaning ‘saw’ and akis meaning ‘point;’ the species name glauca is Latin from glaucas or ‘bluish gray’ or ‘green’ in English, referring to their color. As its name implies, this shark has a dark blue dorsal surface, and bright blue flanks before blending into a white ventral underbelly. A sleek, long animal, with large pectoral fins, it has big eyes... the better to watch you with, my dear.
Rhizoprionodon terraenovae, or the Atlantic sharpnose shark, is a small species with maximum length being 1.1 m (3.6 ft). Males are mature between 0.80 - 0.85 m (2.62 – 2.8 ft) and females reach maturity at 0.85 – 0.90 m (2.8 – 2.95 ft).
The genus name Rhizoprionodon is Greek; rhiza meaning ‘root,’ prion meaning ‘saw’ and odous meaning ‘teeth.’ The species name, terraenovae, is Latin for ‘new land.’ Their common name comes from their long, pointed snout. They’re also called the ‘white shark.’
Did you know there are porcupines in the sea? Specifically porcupine rays, Urogymnus asperrimus, a ray in the family Dasyatidae and one of six species in the genus Urogymnus (along with U. acanthobothrium, U. dalyensis, U. granulatus, U. lobistoma and U. polylepis). A layer of spikes on its back gives it its common name, and it lacks the venomous barb at the beginning of its tail like most other stingray species. It is a rarely seen ray species, so it largely remains a mystery.
TFUI Founder Melissa C. Marquez is author of all animal bios and "Behind the Fins" segments.
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