Creature Feature: 12/10/13 Revealed

Bill Curtsinger/Getty Images

Do you have a hard time imagining a holiday season without cookies? One marine animal would agree with you – the cookiecutter shark (Isistius brasiliensis). This small shark is less than 22 inches long, and gets its name from the circular bite that it leaves on its prey.

Cookiecutter sharks live in the deep waters near the equator, but during the night they move toward the surface. Like many deep sea organisms, these sharks are capable of bioluminescence, meaning they possess light-producing organs called photophores.  The photophores emit a greenish light which may help to lure its prey, including larger fish and even whales. These animals approach the shark, thinking that they might get a meal. Once the predators are close, the shark is able to attach itself and take a cookie-shaped bite. These bites are not large enough to kill, but they probably don’t feel very good!


Check out this awesome shark cookie recipe


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