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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Amorous Sharks “Breaching” in the West Coast Waters of Scotland

by Ihor Cap
Some 21 shark species are known to swim the British coastal waters. However, when it comes to amorous basking sharks, recent studies have shown they tend to swim the shores of Scotland four times more than the UK waters. They slowly surf the west coast shores in search of food and a mate, especially around the outer Firth of Clyde. Other recently confirmed hotspots are located in Gunna Sound, between Coll and Tiree, and nearby the islet of Hyskeir, southwest of Canna. Come summer time and sharks as long as 33 feet (10 meters) ‘bask’ the surface of the warm waters feeding on plankton with their mouths wide open. A single ‘basker’ filter’s as much as 1.5 million litres (330,000 gallons) of water through its gills. This dark slaty grey to black fish is sometimes mistaken for a second fish following the other since both the dorsal and tail fins stick out of the water at the same time.

Basking Shark Photo by Chris Gotschalk at Wikimedia Commons
Jet-skiers, speedboats and other boaters must be especially careful this time of year not just because the sharks are feeding along the surface but also because this is their mating season. Basking sharks are loners, but come courting season and a hundred of them can appear in these plentiful waters. What makes basking sharks unusual around this time is their courtship behavior. The nose of one love struck shark follows the tail of the other shark or they may swim next to each other. Sometimes, they lunge vertically out of the water also known as “breaching.” Being the second largest fish in the world, it is easy to see why they are often mistaken for whales.

Shark Breach photo taken from YouTube video Flying Shark: Great White Breaches Off South Africa's Coast
Little is known about these creatures and their behavior. Recent evidence shows that one shark can give birth to as many as six young live ones. Also, they take a long time to mature so the Scottish government has taken measures to protect them, especially around the identified hotspot areas. You can read more about these amazing creatures and their unusual behaviors by visiting the sites mentioned below.

Author Information:
Ihor Cap is a Web Author and Dad.   

Breaching Basking Sharks | World's Weirdest

Sharks in British Seas – 2009 Simon Spear/Richard Peirce/Elasmo Films

Basking shark feeding in the UK 2010

Main Reference:
Basking Sharks at (Used as main reference for my article)

Sharks swim Closer to Extinction 

Additional Readings About Amorous Basking Sharks:
Sharks head west to look for mate at

Experts basking in shark find 

Nature’’s Top 40: No.9 Basking Sharks  

Wealth and Health of 200 Countries Over Last 200 Years in 4 Minutes Flat

by Ihor Cap
What you will see is here is one amazing video that is a must see for everyone who likes or hates statistics. However, this story is not about statistics or numbers per se. Rather, it is a video story about the health and wealth of 200 countries in the world over the last 200 years and beyond in just 4 minutes flat. How is it done? A Swedish professor and super star of sorts with the locals, Hans Rosling, teaches global health and uses visualization as part of his work to communicate the wealth and health of countries by plotting 120,000 numbers and displaying them on an animated correlation chart which appears before him like a hologram.
He is the only individual that I know that communicates this historical progression of life expectancy against wealth for every country since 1810 in the most enjoyable way anyone can think of. In short, Professor Hans illustrates a world far different from what most of us imagine. The facts speak for themselves in this spectacular video of human evolution, but Professor Hans communicates this information in a way everyone understands. Now, sit back and enjoy the show.
Author Information:
Ihor Cap is a web author and dad

Hans Rosling's 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes - The Joy of Stats - BBC Four