Damn editors don't know a real thing when they see it!
The Jelasco "common" shark or Hybodontiformes cirratum, is a shark in the Orectolobiformes family, and genus hybodontiformes. Their common name derives from Bill Jelasco, a prominent scientist until he became a communist. The board of science (BOS) has decided to change the common name to the Jelasco common shark in order to belittle his discovery. They are the only venomous shark and due to their rarity, there have only been three recorded deaths since 2005. Steve Irwin once described this shark as "He's angry!"
Distribution and habitat
The Jelasco shark is mainly found in the South Pacific, specifically near the Great Barrier Reef. They are a migratory species. The Jelasco shark is found at depths greater than 20 meters but occasionally will surface to munch on tender fishies.
Behavior and diet
Jelasco sharks are diurnal animals, and are solitary hunters who spend the nights in underwater caves in schools up to fifty. Only one account of an underwater cave dwelling has been reported. Scientific studies have revealed that Jelasco sharks predominantly prey upon electric eels by injecting them with venom in a single bite and then swimming away rapidly. The venom of the Jelasco shark is slow-acting, so the shark will follow the prey for up to twelve hours before the eel will die.
Jelasco sharks have been reported to lick the barnacles on piers, often in groups.
Jelasco sharks have been reported to swim towards shore in a line of three or four and then float with their noses pointing towards the beach for hours on end. This unusual behavior has been interpreted as foreplay, as the sharks will often mate in a group following this action. There are two mating seasons, one in fall and one in spring. Jelasco sharks are ovoviviparous, meaning the eggs develop and hatch within the body of the female. The gestation period for Jelasco sharks is eight months, and up 3 pups will be born. The average reported lifespan of a Jelasco shark is ten years, as they often die in hunting their unusual prey.
Interaction with humans
The Jelasco shark is not actively hunted by humans, but two of the incidences of death have occurred when an unsuspecting fisherman has accidentally netted a Jelasco shark and subsequently been injected with the venom. The other case of death occurred as a beachgoer in Australia disturbed the strange mating ritual.
I'm slowly settling into a realization of just how much work teaching actually takes. The answer is basically enough that I have zero free time whatsoever. (It supposedly changes around your third year when you start really getting the hang of things. It'll be nice if I have the opportunity to find that out.)
The conclusion is that you have to keep your head up even for things as minor as walking across campus for lunch. And, now that my head is up more, I'm noticing some strange things... like the fact that everyone on campus now looks exactly like everyone 15 years ago. Perhaps it's just that the design of the Whitman sweatshirt hasn't changed, but it's kind of odd thinking "Hey! I know that guy!" and then quickly realizing that "No, no I don't." I actually think it's a sign that people look more alike than they look differently. We all have a doppelgänger out there somewhere.
On the flip side of the coin, I got a chance to really look at my students while they were taking a test yesterday. It was a long hour of doing little more than sitting, so there wasn't much else. There were a couple interesting realizations. First, I know the names of about forty of the fifty-two students in my class. Second, there are a couple of them that I'm pretty much convinced I never saw before the test. "Woah, who the frak is that?" Third, there were also a few moments of "Woah. Who the frak is that?", only the other way.
Yeah, just got the following from campus security here at UMD - that's right, College Park MARYLAND:
July 31, 2008
There have been several reliable sightings of an animal fitting the
description of a cougar on the campus. The description of the sighted
cat is: light tan and tawny brown, about 4 feet long with a 4 foot tail,
and weighing about 50 pounds. Several sightings have been reported from
the area of Cole Field House, near the Clarice Smith Performing Arts
Center, and continuing through the wooded areas to the area of the
Comcast Center and Arena Drive Garage. There has been no report of
aggressive behavior on the part of the animal, but community members are
warned that cougars are a predatory species and that, if seen, the
animal should not be approached.
If you see the animal, please contact the university police at
301-405-3555. University police are working with other agencies to
remove the animal from the campus area.
A friend of mine has said that she's heard reports from reliable people of cougars in the woods in northeastern PA, and sure, I've been seeing a lot of deer here in College Park when I walk the dog through the "woods", but cougars? Geez, where am I?
We're thinking of going cougar hunting, since the sightings are in the area of the astro building.
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