Share
A- A A+

Article from:

Creation  Volume 23Issue 2 Cover

Creation 23(2):46–50
March 2001

Free Email News
By Design
by Dr Jonathan Sarfati

US $15.00
View Item
God the Master Designer DVD
by Dr Jonathan Sarfati

US $13.00
View Item
One small Speck to Man: the evolution myth
by Vij Sodera

US $69.00
View Item
Evolution: The Grand Experiment
by Dr Carl Werner

US $18.00
View Item
Evolution: The Grand Experiment—Teacher Manual
by Dr Carl Werner

US $17.00
View Item
If Animals Could Talk
by Dr. Werner Gitt

US $10.00
View Item
Without Excuse
by Dr Werner Gitt

US $15.00
View Item
Discovery of Design
by Donald DeYoung & Derrik Hobb

US $14.00
View Item
Exploring the World of Biology
by John Hudson Tiner

US $14.00
View Item
Exploring Creation with Marine Biology textbook
by Sherri Seligson

US $68.00
View Item
Exploring Creation with Marine Biology—Solutions & Tests
by Sherri Seligson

US $22.00
View Item
Exploring Creation with Zoology 2—Swimming Creatures
by Jeannie Fulbright

US $39.00
View Item
Exploring Creation with Zoology 2—Student’s Journal


US $24.00
View Item
Exploring Creation with Zoology 3—Land Animals
by Jeannie Fulbright

US $39.00
View Item
Exploring Creation with Zoology 1—Flying Creatures
by Jeannie Fulbright

US $39.00
View Item
Hallmarks of Design (2nd Edition)
by Stuart Burgess

US $13.00
View Item
Made in Heaven: Man’s indiscriminate Stealing of God’s Amazing Design
by Ray Comfort and Jeffrey Seto

US $16.00
View Item
Jesus Christ our Intelligent Designer
by John C Whitcomb

US $10.00
View Item
The Complete Zoo Adventure
by Mary and Gary Parker

US $17.00
View Item
The Work of His Fingers
by Alison Brown

US $8.00
View Item
A Bible Alphabet
by Alison Brown

US $8.00
View Item
Word Wise Vol 1: God’s Amazing Book
by Alison Brown

US $8.00
View Item
Word Wise Vol 2: Just As God Said!
by Alison Brown

US $8.00
View Item
Bible Animals
by Alison Brown

US $8.00
View Item
Incredible Creatures That Defy Evolution - Volume 1 DVD


US $23.00
View Item
Incredible Creatures That Defy Evolution - Volume 2 DVD


US $23.00
View Item
Incredible Creatures That Defy Evolution - Volume 3 DVD


US $23.00
View Item

Sharks: denizens of the deep

by

shark

Photo by Gary Bell, Ocean Wide Images

Sharks. Few creatures alive today incite more fear and awe than these fierce marine predators, gliding through the ocean with their powerful bodies, black eyes and rows of razor–sharp teeth.

When most people, particularly those in Australia, think of sharks, they think of the terrifying Great White. This shark has a fearsome reputation, and not just because of sensational Hollywood movies like Jaws and, more recently, Deep Blue Sea.

Tragically, one hears each year of fatal shark attacks on humans, often in the waters of popular beaches. Whenever such a shocking event occurs, discussion springs up as to whether or not Great Whites—which generally feed on seals, turtles and large fish—have turned to hunting humans, or those humans just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

One hears each year of fatal shark attacks on humans, often in the waters of popular beaches.

But there are many types of sharks other than the Great White—about 250 in fact—with only 27 of those implicated in attacks on people or boats.1 Interestingly, the largest known sharks today are relatively harmless to man. The basking shark and whale shark, which grow to 12 and 18m (40 and 60 feet) respectively, eat only minute plankton and schools of small fish.1 Almost all other sharks prey on smaller sharks, fish, squid, octopus and shellfish.

Sharks come in all shapes and sizes, from the bizarre–looking hammerhead shark, with its eyes at either end of a double hammer–shaped head, to the angel shark, which has ray–like 'wings'.

All sharks have incredible design features suiting their diet and environment. Those that feed near the surface, like the mako and thresher sharks, are beautifully streamlined and powerful swimmers, allowing them to catch and feed on fast tuna and marlin. Bottom–feeding species, like the above–mentioned whale shark, are stout, blunt–headed and are more sluggish, while shellfish–eaters have coarse, pavement–like crushing teeth.2

Sharks are among the ocean’s cartilaginous fishes (class Chondrichthyes); that is, those fishes that have a skeleton made of cartilage, rather than being 'bony', and have tooth–like scales (denticles) on their skin.

Photo by Gary Bell, Ocean Wide Images

whale-shark

In today’s fallen world, most sharks perform a valuable function in the ocean’s ‘chain of life’ as scavengers and/or top predators. This whale shark, although much larger (up to 18m (60 feet) long) than a Great White, is no threat to humans, seals, etc. as it feeds on mostly plankton. It gives us a glimpse of what a pre–Fall world might have been like.

The basking shark and whale shark eat only plankton and small fish.

The young in most species hatch from eggs within the female and are born alive.2 Sharks have five to seven gill clefts each side, and most have an opening behind each eye, called a spiracle, which also acts as a gill.

Incredibly efficient predators, sharks are able to locate prey and their own kind, but limited research on live sharks means their methods of doing so remain 'imperfectly understood'. While they are able to distinguish moving objects visually, they primarily use their very acute sense of smell to locate food—they can detect less than one part per million of blood in the water.2 

Teeth in sharks are arranged in rows in the mouth, but are not firmly attached to the jaws. Instead they are imbedded in a fibrous membrane lying over the jaws. When a tooth becomes broken, worn or lost, it is replaced by one moving forward from the next row behind.

Sharks primarily use their very acute sense of smell to locate prey—they can detect less than one part per million of blood in the water.

These marine creatures are also perfectly designed to live in their saltwater environment. Most marine vertebrates maintain lower concentrations of salts and other chemicals in their blood than are found in seawater. As such, they face a continuous problem of water loss to the environment, as water tends to move from low to high salt concentration regions (via membranes)—a process called osmosis. However, sharks, like other cartilaginous fishes, can reabsorb most of their nitrogenous waste products and store them in their tissues and blood. Called 'urea retention', this process ensures that the concentration within the body exceeds that of the surrounding seawater, and water moves into the body without using any of the shark's precious energy.4

Photo by Don Batten

teenaged boy in megalodon jaws

Massive jaws of megalodon, probably the largest shark ever to exist in our oceans. Since cartilaginous skeletons do not readily fossilize, the main pointers to its existence come from teeth and a few vertebrae.

Scientists say that 'the evolutionary origin' of the shark is ‘obscure’, but state with 'authority' that its geological record goes back to the Devonian Period (supposedly 408 to 360 million years ago).

Photo by Bev Elliott

shark-carcass

A decomposing basking shark carcass on a New Zealand beach. The unique pattern of decomposition of such carcasses often leaves a small 'head' and narrow 'neck'. This gives them a 'plesiosaur–like' appearance that has misled several creationists, as well as evolutionary cryptozoologists.1

  1. Jerlström P., Live plesiosaurs: weighing the evidence, Journal of Creation 12(3)339–346, 1998; Letting rotting sharks lie: further evidence for shark identity of the Zuiyo–maru carcass, Journal of Creation 13(2):83–87, 1999.

Sharks are yet another group of creatures often referred to as '‘living fossils’' because it appears they have not changed a great deal from those that swam the seas supposedly 100 million years ago.2 The New Encyclopaedia Britannica says 'modern sharks' appeared in the Early Jurassic Period [supposedly 100 million years ago] and 'overall, evolution has modified the shark morphology very little, except to improve their feeding and swimming mechanisms'.2

Statements about shark evolution are based on the most part on assumptions made from studying fossilized shark teeth. Other forms of shark fossils are almost non–existent because cartilaginous remains do not fossilize like bones. Shark teeth, however, are covered with hard enamel, and fossilize well, and from what has been found in the fossil record, 'ancient' cartilaginous fishes were little different from those today.5

In fact, evolutionists have no idea how sharks 'evolved', either in their own class or in the broader scheme of marine evolution. They say bony and cartilaginous fishes evolved independently, 'although the lines of evolution remain to be discovered'.4

What the fossil record does show is that enormous sharks once inhabited our oceans. The largest known carnivorous fish to have inhabited the sea is the Carcharodon megalodon. Based on the discovery of huge fossil teeth, scientists believe the megalodon (which means giant tooth) was a huge shark that could have been up to 17m (60 feet) or longer (nearly twice as long as a Great White).

These giant teeth are up to 17cm (6.5 inches) long, the size of a person's hand. Recent research has suggested that their similarity to the Great White's teeth may be more superficial than previously thought, and the two species may have differed considerably in their attack behaviour.6

shark-megalodon
This creature is generally referred to as a 'prehistoric' relative of the Great White, and assumptions about its appearance are based on this link. Although it reportedly existed between 25 million and 1.6 million years ago, scientists describe it very much as a 'modern' shark.7

It is believed that the megalodon’s jaws could open 1.8 m (6 ft) wide and 2.1 m (7 ft) high—the ocean’s biggest jaws.

Vito Bertucci, a diver who reportedly spent 20 years acquiring an entire set of megalodon teeth (182 teeth), has reconstructed what are considered to be the ocean's biggest jaws.8It is believed these jaws could open 1.8m (six feet) wide and 2.1m (seven feet) high.

Sharks may have been generally larger in the past, as were many other types of creatures, according to the fossil record. There is nothing about the teeth of the megalodon to indicate it was anything other than a shark, even though it supposedly existed up to 20 million years ago. The fossil record is clearly consistent with the fact that sharks have always been sharks, and have not evolved from non–sharks.

Related Articles

Further Reading

References

  1. The New Encyclopaedia Britannica 19:209, 15th ed., 1992.
  2. The New Encyclopaedia Britannica 10:702, 1992.
  3. Ref. 1, p. 211.
  4. Ref. 1, p. 212.
  5. Sharks and Rays: fish with no ancestors, Creation 14(3):50, 1992.
  6. The relatively stronger megalodon teeth were better able to crush prey. Hells teeth, New Scientist 162(2190):32–35, 1998.
  7. Megalodon Shark Print–Out—Enchanged Learning.com, Megaldon Shark, <www. enchantedlearning.com>, 18 October 2000.
  8. Sharks'Teeth.com, World's largest fossil shark, <www.sharksteeth.com/Megalodon .htm>, 18 October 2000.

It has been said that “Information is power”. When it comes to creation information we’d have to agree. Keep the ‘powerful’ evidence for God being Creator coming. Support this site

Comments closed
Article closed for commenting.
Only available for 14 days from appearance on front page.
Readers’ comments
Rolland H., New Zealand, 21 May 2014

Me and a friend were searching up facts about the Megalodon yesterday, and I laughed when I found this article here today. Megalodons were powerful and will continue to be and as like dinosaurs they manage to stay hidden from mankind's sight.

After all how much of the oceans have we explored?

Chris B., Canada, 21 May 2014

Food must have been very plentiful pre-Fall allowing for so many enormous animals like the dinosaurs and the many massive sea creatures.

With decay entering the world after the Fall causing the food supply to dwindle it's no wonder so few massive awe-inspiring creatures exist today.

Copied to clipboard
402
Product added to cart.
Click store to checkout.
In your shopping cart

Remove All Products in Cart
Go to store and Checkout
Go to store
Total price does not include shipping costs. Prices subject to change in accordance with your country’s store.