Friday, January 13, 2012

Sharks by Beverly McMillan & John A.Musik

This book has stunning illustrations and is worth a look at for these alone. The Introduction gives an overview of the shark's physiology, and some information on unusual species like the Frilled shark, the Basking shark and the Angel shark. One chapter is devoted to its "jaws of steel" alone. It seems that rows of teeth are always developing behind the full-grown teeth and every so often a new row moves forward like a conveyor belt. Another chapter looks at the evolution of the shark, and then there's an interesting section about the "record breakers". The Dwarf Lantern shark is only 19 centimetres long! There is also a section on the flat cousins of the sharks looking at chimaeras, rays, skates and saw fish. Shark attacks and safe swimming is also discussed along with the conservation of these amazing creatures. There is a comprehensive glossary at the back and a detailed index. Pictured above is an elephant fish in the chimaera species which I took in the shallows of the water in Great Bay on Bruny Island one holiday quite a few years ago. I had never seen one before.

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