1949, the late Dr. E.W. Gudger, for many years Ichthyologist of the
American Museum of Natural History, New York, and a noted authority
on the subject of sharks, made a special investigation in Florida on their
digestion. He studied chiefly the tiger shark: largest, hungriest and
fiercest of its genus, and found that its jaws and teeth chop its prey
into large fragments which are swallowed whole.
shearing and chopping apparatus is so constructed that the
shark's lower jaw can be dropped to let it's mouth gape vertically while at
the same time it can be widened!
Dr Gadger caught his tigers near a slaughterhouse. The stomach of
one shark contained the skull of a horse with some vertebrae attached,
two hoofs, several green turtle scutes (bony plates), parts of a large
conch shell and a piece of tile. According to Dr Gudger the digestive
juices of a tiger shark contain largely of strong hydrochloric acid.
Gudger, however, refused to believe tales of living men being eaten
by sharks, although one harpooned shark came up to the bow of his boat,
gripped the stem in its jaws and tore away some of the wood. He was at a
loss to explain the stomach contents of sharks. He said "A shark ought to
die of indigestion, but yet no dead shark has been found with an
overloaded stomach." He accepted the explanation of Steward Springer
that sharks can relax their stomach muscles and by squeezing the body
cavities eject its contents.
Popular belief also credits the shark with insatiable voracity, but this is
not true of sharks in capacity. Information supplied by the Taronga Park
Zoo, Sydney, indicates that the amount of food required to sustain a
shark is small and even large sharks appear to be light feeders. It was
also found that a shark's appetite varies with the seasons.
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Jaws And Teeth By The Shark Doctor
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