Interview with Famous Marine Biologist, Philip S. Lobel
The answer to question 1 is taken from the web site:
Philip S. Lobel
Boston University Marine Program
Ph.D. Harvard University, 1979
1) Please tell us about your background-- a brief bio and outline of qualifications for the site.
I am an ichthyologist with interest in behavioral ecology. I am interested in fundamental concepts of fish biology and I'm applying this knowledge to scientific issues and to societal concerns of fisheries management and conservation. My scientific work has focused on field studies of fish behavior and ecology. I have worked in a variety of habitats world wide where fishes are a significant component of the fauna.
2) How long have sharks been on earth?
The oldest fossils classified as chondrichthyian sharks and relatives are from the early Silurian and late Ordovician periods, about 500 million years ago.
3) What are the names of some exctinct sharks?
The famous Carcharodon Megalodon is the one with the giant fossil teeth. The Cladoselache and Stethacanthus are other types long gone.
4) How many species of present day sharks are there?
Probably about 400 species of sharks skates and rays exist today but more are being found. several new species were found in the Philippines in the last few years alone.
5) How smart are sharks?
Sharks are smart and clever like most small animals that you know but no one has really studied this aspect in detail. They certainly learn and remember experiences.
6) What is a shark's favorite food?
Most sharks eat fish and squid.
7) How deep in the ocean do sharks like to live?
Sharks live at all ocean depths as far as we know, but overall scientists know little about life in the deep sea.
8) How did you get started in Marine Biology, and is it a fun job?
I studied by keeping aquariums. Yes it is fun.
9) What is ram-jet ventilation?
Swimming with mouth open so water flows over gills.
10) What are some of the things that you like best about your work?
The scientific and intellectual challenge and the opportunity for discovery.
11) We know sharks are predators, but are there any other species that prey on sharks or are sharks on the "top of the food chain"?
Big sharks eat little sharks for example a tiger sharks will eat gray reef sharks
12) Are there any sharks on the list of endangered species?
Not yet but several species have been proposed.
13) What are sharks role in ecosystem? Are they important to our ecosystem?
Sharks are top predators and have the same role as any top predator in an ecosystem.