Common diving vocab terms used

Ok, I know what your thinking…what are we back in school. But I have many people email me asking them what something means.

Aplacental viviparity – (which used to be called ovoviviparity) is when animals hatch from eggs, but the eggs hatch and the babies develop inside the female’s body. There is no placenta to nourish the pups. Great white sharks reproduce in this manner. so do nurse sharks.

Barbels -sensory projections near the nostrils and mouth of some sharks (e.g., the nurse shark). These barbels are whisker-like feelers used to taste and feel.

Bugs- another name for that tasty treat lobsters.

By-catch – The part of that part of the fisher’s catch which is returned to the sea either because it has no value to them. Fishing boats search the seas for target animals, like tuna, and discard anything else they accidentally catch—like sharks. The unwanted animals, called by-catch, dry out or suffocate on the deck, or get thrown back into the ocean all but dead.

Countershading – A form of camouflage in which an animal has a dark-colored back and a light-colored belly. Using fish as an example, when viewed from below, a fish blends in with the brightness of the sunny waters above. Viewed from above, the animal blends in with the dark ocean bottom. Countershading camouflages the animal, allowing it to sneak up on unsuspecting prey or hide from predators.

Dorsal – The back of an animal. The large fin on the back of a shark; the fin that sticks out of the water when a shark swims near the surface.

Extinction – An organism that has not been present on the face of the earth for over 50 years.

FDC – Flore de Cana. One of our favorite Nicaraguan rums.

Gestation – The period of development of the young in viviparous animals, from the time of fertilization of the egg until birth.

Gills – Structures used for breathing; gills extract oxygen out of water.

Lasso- A srick device with an extendable hoop on the end for walking lobster into and snaring.

Organism – A living thing.

Pup – A baby shark.

ram-jet ventilation – the process where a fish has to continue to move, like some sharks, to breathe. Please note: nurse sharks do not do this.

Serrated – The edges of the teeth have small teeth like those on a saw; jagged-edged having saw-like notches along the edge.

Snout – The pointy part of the head; similar to our nose.

Species – A group of organisms capable of breeding and producing fertile offspring; organisms that share the same gene pool.

Tickle Stick – a long stock we use to walk lobster into a net.

Ventral – The belly of an animal.

Viviparous – A form of reproduction in which the young, or in this case pups, develop inside the mother. Each pup receives food from the mother’s blood through an umbilical cord. The pups are born fully developed and able to hunt and swim on their own. This form of reproduction is referred to as “live birth”.


About daniellesdives

diving enthusiast
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