Introduction & Observation of a Shark

Essay by jordan8900 February 2006

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The lab was an introduction of the external anatomy of the shark under visual observation.


Sharks are mostly marine fishes, and some live in fresh water. Their fins have different functions such as lift, propulsion, and stabilizing. There are one or two fins present along dorsal midline called first and second dorsal fin. If the spin is the orgin, it is mainly then used for defense. Pectoral fins start from behind the head and extend outwards. The purpose of these fins is for steering and help the shark lift in different directions. Pelvic fins are located near claoca.

A shark skin is made of small placoid scales. It mostly dry, and used as a sandpaper. It consists of bascal bony plate buried within skin and raised portion. Sharks possess the basic eye structure that is found in all vertebrates, but with some modification. The shark eye has a reflecting layer called a tapetum lucidum located behind the retina.


Lateral View:

Ventral View:


Dogfish Shark

Dissection kit

Dissecting tray



In this lab, the students learned were the eyes, teeth, mouth, two dorsal fins and two pectoral fins and a tail are located. Then understood the certain views, lateral,anterior,posterior, and dorsal. This crucial because then it help understand the observation of the shark. Certain dissections will indicate the exact positions; the students must know how to differentiate from each view.