Thursday, August 16, 2007

Blinding You With Science: MEGAMOUTH!!

In LA County's National History Museum, between the water fountains and the mesozoic fossils, Megamouth, a 15 foot long, 1550 lb. shark, sits bloated and yellow in his display case.

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The first Megamouth was discovered in 1976, when it was captured off the coast of Hawaii. The second Megamouth - the one on display at the museum - was found near Catalina Island in 1984. Only 37 other Megamouths have ever been found; most of them were captured in the Pacific, off the coast of Japan.

The Megamouth shark sports an unusually large mouth with "a bathtub-shaped lower jaw and an enormous short-snouted head with small, pointed teeth." It has a reflective lining inside its mouth that is thought to attract prey.

Little else is known about the shark, but scientists are currently testing tissue samples from the specimen at the museum in hopes of learning more about it.


ninja rad said...

omg have you seen the bbc series blue planet?

i think it's on netflix. it's so awesome!

Mel said...

Awww, no, I haven't, but I saw every episode of Planet Earth and that blew my mind. I'm going to have to netflix that, for sure!