May 7

If you live in the UK and are a fan of sharks, then you are in serious luck! The BBC is launching a 3-part documentary series celebrating one of the most magnificent fish in the sea – the shark! It’s the first BBC series ever to be dedicated to sharks taking about two years to make, 2,646 hours underwater, 1.5 million liters of air, and having only one camera eaten by a shark!

For those in the UK who want to learn more about the sharks featured in the BBC series, why not use the commercial breaks to swim through Arkive’s extensive library of images, videos and information on several shark species. For everyone else around the world, let’s dive deep into the Arkive shark collection to explore some of the species that will be featured in the series!

The Movie Star

Great-white-shark-swimming-anterior-view (1)

Let’s start, with perhaps the most famous cinematic star of all time, the great white shark! While the great white is not a ferocious man-eater, it is however a skilled predator that often feasts upon turtles, mollusks, crustaceans and even small cetaceans. Also, they can maintain their body temperature higher than that of the surrounding water through a heat exchange system.

The Speedy Fellow

Blacktip-shark-at-surface-of-water-dorsal-view

As it name suggests the most distinctive feature of the blacktip shark is the black coloration on some of its fins. This shark is one of the more athletically built sharks with its torpedo-shaped body which allows it to easily cut through the water. It uses it agility to its advantage in swimming vertically through schools of fish spinning and snapping in all directions until it breaches the surface.

The Couch Potato

Greenland-shark-head

One could say the Greenland shark has has an affinity for frigid waters, since it inhabits the icy waters of the Arctic and northern Atlantic. Even though this shark is known for its sluggish movements, it still has a diverse diet that includes fish, seals and even cetaceans. An odd affliction for most Greenland sharks is a bizarre copepod that attaches to their corneas and overtime damages their eyesight.

The Night Owl

Female-whitetip-reef-shark-showing-mating-scars

 

This slender whitetip reef shark exhibits an almost Dr.Jekyll/Mr.Hyde personality shift, since it is relatively docile during the day, but becomes considerably more aggressive when hunting at night. While usually a solo hunter, this shark is not opposed to hunting with another in capturing prey such as octopus, lobster and crabs. To capture its prey, it sometimes chases them into a crevice and proceeds to jam its body in after it, thus sealing off the exit.

The Master of Disguise

Tasselled-wobbegong-anterior-view

The well camouflaged tasseled wobbegong hardly resembles the stereotypical image of the shark, since it possess a flat and wide body.  The wobbegong has a magnificent “beard” that resembles succulent morsels of food, which attracts unsuspecting fish toward its mouth. Its flattened body allows for great maneuverability in squirming into enclosed spaces.

 

BBC Sharks debuts tonight at 8:55pm on BBC One in the UK

William Lazaro, Arkive Social Media Intern, Wildscreen USA