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  Seaweek 2005 - Save Our Sharks - Student Info sheet    
Student Information Sheets - Glossary
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All words in bold in the Information Sheets text are words that can be found in the glossary.

  • Abundance : A very large quantity.
  • Acoustic tracking : Sharks are tagged with a device that emits a high frequency sound that researchers are able to track from boats to follow the movement of the sharks even when they cannot see them.
  • Ambush predator : An animal that sits and waits for prey to come close and then suddenly grabs the prey, rather than stalking or hunting for prey.
  • Ampullae of Lorenzini : O rgans possessed by all chondrichthyes that are used to sense electrical signals.
  • Anal fin : A fin attached to the lower edge of a fish behind the anus.
  • Arnhem Land: A region of northern Australia west of the Gulf of Carpentaria. Australia’s largest Aboriginal reservation is there.
  • Bioelectric signals : Weakelectrical signals created by all animals.
  • Biology : The science of life dealing with animals, plants and other living things.
  • Bony fish :F ish that have a bony skeleton as opposed to the cartilaginous fish.
  • Bouyancy : The ability to float.
  • Bycatch : Fish and other animals that are caught by accident. Also called incidental catch.
  • Calcified/calcification : Made harder and preserved by the formation of calcium salts.
  • Cartilage : A soft skeletal material used instead of bones in cartilaginous fishes such as sharks and rays.
  • Cartilaginous fish : Fish that have a skeleton made of cartilage, such as sharks, rays and chimaeras.
  • Cephalopods : The group consisting of octopuses, squid, cuttlefish and nautiluses; they have eight or more tentacles with suckers, soft bodies and can change colour very quickly.
  • Caudal fin : The tail fin of a fish.
  • Cetaceans : The group of marine mammals consisting of whales and dolphins; they breathe air, give birth to live young and suckle them on rich milk.
  • Chondrichthyes : The group of fish that includes sharks, rays, skates and chimaeras.
  • Clan: A division of a tribe tracing descent from a common ancestor.
  • Claspers : male shark sex organs; a pair of long, narrow organs extending backwards from the cloaca underneath the body of male sharks.
  • Cloaca : A hole underneath sharks that is used both for reproduction and excretion.
  • Commercial fishing :Fishing for a commercial purpose – i.e. to sell.
  • Continental shelf : The gently sloping undersea area surrounding a continent down to about 200 metres deep; at the edge of the continental shelf there is a steep drop to the ocean floor, this is the continental slope.
  • Continental slope : The steep drop from the edge of the continental shelf (about 200 m) to the sea floor (down to about 2000 m).
  • Crustaceans : The group including crabs, prawns, shrimps, lobsters and others; they have an external skeleton and jointed legs.
  • Connective tissue: Tissue that connects, supports and surrounds the internal organs.
  • Dermal : Of the skin.
  • Demersal : Living near to the bottom of the sea.
  • Denticles : The tiny scales that cover the skin of sharks and rays.
  • Dorsal fin: The fin on top of a fish’s body.
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Save Our Sharks March 6 to 13, 2005