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Ocean Acidification Could Eat Away at Sharks’ Teeth and Scales

Sharks are some of the world’s most formidable predators, but their place at the top of the marine food chain may be threatened by ocean warming and acidification. As carbon dioxide levels in the oceans increase, upping the acidity of the water, shark teeth and scales may begin to corrode, compromising their ability to swim, hunt and feed, according to research published today in Scientific Reports. Ultimately, sharks could be displaced as apex predators, disrupting entire ocean food webs, says the study’s senior author Lutz Auerswald, a fisheries biologist at Stellenbosch University in South Africa and the nation’s Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. “Some of the bigger species, like great white sharks, are also already highly endangered, so this might wipe them out.” Read more....

 

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