Chesapeake Bay

Common Hammerhead

Habitat-
The Common Hammerhead Shark is found in the Chesapeake Bay off the coast of Maryland, though most prefer the open ocean. It is one of many sharks in the Chesapeake. It is also the largest shark.

Size-
A full grown Common Hammerhead grows from 6 to 15 feet in length. They can weigh from 600 to 1,500 pounds, or 100 pounds a foot. The average length is about 12 feet because hammerheads vary in size.

Diet-
Common Hammerheads eat sting rays, squid, fish, dying or young whales, and sometimes sea birds. Their food intake is about 6% of their own body weight. Head Use-
The "hammer" on the hammerhead is used for better steering in the water. The hammer is flat and long. The eyes are located at the ends.

Body Shape-
Common Hammerheads are slender and long. This makes them exceptionally fast. Speed is needed in the ocean to catch prey.

Coloration-
The Common Hammerhead is gray with white on the underside.

Senses-
The common hammerhead has an excellent sense of smell. It can smell a drop of blood a mile away. They have fair eye sight, but usually use echolocation to find food. They have excellent hearing, too.

Depth-
Common hammerheads are found from 0 to 600 feet below the surface. Baleen whales, toothed whales, other sharks, and a variety of fish are also at this depth.

Lifespan-
A common hammerhead can live up to 30 years. It can not stop swimming or it will sink. They will sink because they don't have this special bladder that keeps most fish up.



Peregrine Falcon

The Peregrine Falcon is a large bird of prey that is about 460 millimeters long. The female falcon is larger than the male.The Peregrine Falcon lives in many habitats. These habitats include coastal waters, such as Chesapeake bay, open valleys, tundra, and populated cities. In southern United States, Peregrine Falcons nest in hollow trees and on cliff tops. In Virginia, Peregrine Falcons nest on the Appalachian Mountains and in Chesapeake Bay. The falcon nests at high elevations.

The reason for the endangerment of the Peregrine Falcon is a substance called DDT, a pesticide used by farmers on their crops. Soon, rain water will wash the DDT into the river, and the fish will get DDT into their systems. When the Peregrine Falcon eats the fish, it gets infected with DDT also. Then, when the female lays eggs, the eggs are too soft and break. That is why the Peregrine Falcon is endangered. We should help them because they are beautiful birds and a great addition to our nature scene.


Blue Crab

The next animal I will be doing is the blue crab. It also lives in the Chesapeake Bay. Blue crabs have a place of importance in the ecosystem. They help regulate the abundance of benthic population by feeding upon dead organisms. They feed on cownose rays, striped bass, and blue fish. Blue crabs belong to a group called "Swimming Crabs". They have identifiable paddle like back legs. Their scientific name is "Callinect", a Greek word meaning beautiful swimmer. The Blue Crab is classified as "Callinect Sapuidas". In 12 to 18 months the juvenile crab reaches manturity and measures to 5 inches form point to across the back.


Shad

I am also researching the shad. There are many species of shad. For instance, there is the America, Gizzard, Hickory and Theradful. This the American shad can only be found in the Chesepeake Bay. The American shads grows to be thirty inches long. Did you know when the human population grew, so did the population of the shad? The food that the eats is zooplankton, small animals in the water.


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Date Updated: January 18, 2001