A Giant in a Changing Ocean: Unveiling the Mysteries of the Greenland Shark (Somniosus Microcephalus)
The Arctic is a changing ecosystem that supports a wide diversity of organisms. Multi-year ice in the Arctic is declining due to warming temperatures and being replaced by thinner first year ice. This change in sea ice will have drastic effects on ice-dependent animals and sea ice algae. It is thus extremely important to get baseline data on the organisms that inhabit the Arctic waters and their food web dynamics. The Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus) is one particular inhabitant that has garnered an increasing amount of attention. This shark is the largest fish in the Arctic and it is the only shark that can withstand the cold Arctic waters year-round.It plays an important role in the Arctic ecosystem and could have an advantage over most Arctic predators because it is more of a generalist feeder rather than the specialist feeders like the narwhal.