Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Copepods or WTF is in that shark’s mouth??

So Shark Week is well underway. I’ll take back what I said about Ultimate Air Jaws, the show was fantastic especially the ending sequence. I’ll still give Expedition great white the edge on being the coolest show about the whites, but Ultimate was very cool. Then we come to Into the Shark Bite. The point of the show is to have the shark bite an object that is protecting the camera so we can see into the shark’s mouth when it bites.


The show has some good footage of sharks but was pretty pointless until they showed inside the shark’s mouth and then, “Oh my god what is that?!?” It looked like a white barnacle attached to the shark’s gums and then a patch of hair came flying out of it. It was a Copepod.



These things are pretty common apparently. In a paper I found written by George Benz and Susan Dippenaar they go on to say that the blue shark holds the record for having the most different kinds of Copepods. They could have some on their pectoral fins, on their nose, in their gills, and on their body. There may be around 3,000 of these things living on the shark.


The one I saw on the white shark lives between the teeth. There are some that attach to mako sharks that live on their tongue and the roof of their mouth. Virtually ever Greenland shark has these things living on their eyes. On their eyes. They go partially blind because of these things. And that is all the time I’m going to spend on these things, because looking for images of these things has been pretty nasty. On the bright side, I couldn’t find pictures of the hairy looking ones inside the shark’s mouth. So on that note, Happy Shark Week!

21 comments:

  1. EWWWW, I know. I saw that too and for some reason, found it very disturbing. I almost couldn't look every time they showed it.

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  2. I feel like they are a nuisance to the Great White on the show last night...I feel like I want to pull it out of his mouth for him! May be my OCD...they are gross!

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  3. I found it to be sooooo gross that here I am looking it up on the internet HA!

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  4. So good to know I am not the only one to respond this way! I'm never disgusted by anything and that crap between the shark's teeth has been haunting me for days. I'm actually re-watching the program AND searching the net for pics/info as a way of trying to conquer the nausea.

    Truly bizarre...I also just want to yank them out of there!

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  5. I'm on here for the same reason.... saw it on the show, and was so grossed out I had to do research about it.

    great minds think alike!

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  6. It is like a Discovery channel support group in here. I know I rewatched the show last night just for the copepods. Thanks for all the comments everyone!

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  7. Agreed!
    I'm only here because I saw that weird hairy thing in the great white's mouth...creepy!
    Funny, we all found that the most disturbing part of the whole event...not eating cute baby seals!!!
    We're all immune to that. Thanks Shark Week, you've made us insensitive observers of the horrors of life, but not to copepods!!!!! SHRIEEEEEEEKKKKKKKKKKKKKK, eeechhh!!!!

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  8. Here for exactly the same reason. Why aren't there pictures on the web?!

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  9. I'm glad I'm not the only one going crazy about these nasty buggers. I just want to rip that crap out of it's mouth and destroy it. Gross.

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  10. Jeff in Wichita ksAugust 8, 2010 at 5:06 AM

    Holy crap...well I'm glad at least SOMEONE could answer the question...I googled about 5 different phrases trying to find the answer to what the hell that black thing was in what looked like a spot where a tooth SHOULD HAVE BEEN. I too wanted to pull it out...it'd bug the fuck out of me... Kinda looks like part of a fishing lure.

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  11. I can't stop thinking about how badly I want to get in there and DIG that thing out of the shark's mouth. Seems like it'd be itchy for the shark and so gratifying to remove.

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  12. It. Grosses. Me. Out. UGH! I think we should all get together and write a big group letter to Discovery about how freaking disturbing those images are! GOD!

    -LexieDi

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  13. Anthosoma Crassum is the copepod species that lives in between the White Shark's teeth.

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  14. Jeff in Wichita ksAugust 11, 2010 at 10:09 AM

    Jesse S said...

    I can't stop thinking about how badly I want to get in there and DIG that thing out of the shark's mouth. Seems like it'd be itchy for the shark and so gratifying to remove.

    Ditto for me

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  15. It was truly disturbing! Those long black hair like creatures inside the mouth...I had to look it up as well... Not to mention the night before I had a dream I had lost a tooth and there were these small black hair like fibers attaced to the root!! No lie, then I saw this similar looking thing inside the sharks mouth! I've been disturbed for over a week!!!

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  16. I want to yank'em out of there! nasty looking things!

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  17. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZjWQpclEI4&feature=player_embedded

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  18. What a relief! We have been faithful fans of Shark Week for years but this one image has haunted me like no other. I have looked for the answer to what this thing is? It has a name "copepod". That one picture when it appears out of a tooth socket in his mouth and just hangs there is too much for me, really. I just want to call the shark tooth specialist, they have a specialist for everything else, why not get that guy out there? I'm glad there are others who feel the same way.

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  19. I'm cracking up at "WTF is in that shark's mouth" &

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  20. Omg what's in its mouth eww

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  21. Ahahahahahaha I am so happy that I'm not the only one who found those things an "ewwww" add I call it.

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