Scuba Diving: A little bit about sharks

An adult horn shark resting during the day off of Catalina Island. Photo by Islander diving columnist Wade McDonald.

Ever since I was a young boy I’ll never forget watching Steven Spielbergs 1975 thriller “Jaws.”

Of course by the time I actually viewed the movie my parents had ruled on the side of caution as far as parental guidance was concerned.

To be quite honest I really didn’t know what to think after watching such a gory flick.

Well I would imagine I wasn’t alone on that one. Now, nearly four decades later a “scenario” like it is enough to provide you with your daily dose of giggles—or goggles in my case.

In fact there are over 400 different kinds of sharks that we know of divided up into eight categories.

Today we are going to talk a little about a species that belongs to the “Bullhead” family called the horn shark.

This shark can be found living in the ocean waters from Monterey, California all the way down south to the Sea of Cortez in Mexico.

During the day they rest while taking shelter in rocky crevices and thick patches of alge.

At night time they become active, hunting out their prey.

Adults prefer crustaceans, molluscs as well as echinoderms to feed on but will eat small fish as well.

Juveniles, on the other hand, prefer sea anemones and polychaete worms due to their softer tissue.

Horn Sharks can grow to be over 3 feet in length and will spend their entire life within a small area rarely venturing away.

They are fun to look at underwater and always a thrill to capture on film! But don’t worry—if you give them their space and leave them alone, they’ll return the favor.

Let’s take a look at our marine forecast for the Island now shall we?

This afternoon north west winds 10 to 15 knots.

Expect plenty of sunshine through the weekend with a temperature high of 73 Degrees.

Always remember to check current weather conditions when planning your activities around the water.

Know your limitations and swim near a lifeguard when possible.

When In Doubt Don’t Go Out!


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