With finesse

The Australian research team was interested in how a cartilaginous jaw performs compared with a bone jaw.

The scientists' study shows that the cartilaginous jaw is almost as strong as a bony jaw of the same size - losing only a few percent - in measures of bite force. What is more, the elasticity of the cartilage jaw increases the gape of the sharks to devastating ends.

"The shark's upper jaws can be dislocated: the whole upper and lower jaw pull out and forward as the shark twists and shakes its head from side to side to bite a chunk out of its prey," explains Dr Wroe.

Sharks feed on very large prey: the great white shark eats sea lions and the megalodon is thought to have eaten whales.

"Sharks ambush their prey and immobilise them with a bite, then wait for them to die," Dr Wroe told BBC News. "They are actually delicate feeders and take care not to damage their teeth by biting down too hard on the large bones of their prey."

To keep their teeth sharp, sharks have a battery of them that is continually replaced.

Vocabuary

aeroplane : 【英】飛機[C]
allow : 允許,准許[O2][+v-ing]
almighty : 全能的;有無限權力的
ambush : 埋伏;伏擊[U][C]
analysis : 分析;分解;解析[C][U]
ancestor : 祖宗,祖先
ancient : 古代的
approach : 接近,靠近;即將達到
bite : 咬,叮;一口之量[C]
bone : 骨,骨頭[C]
bony : 骨的;似骨的
carnivore : 食肉動物;食蟲植物
cartilage : 軟骨原骨,軟骨成骨
cartilaginous : 軟骨的
chunk : 大塊,厚片
colossal : 巨大的;龐大的
combination : 結合(體);聯合(體)[U][C]
comparison : 比較,對照;類似[C][U][(+between/with)]
construct : 建造,構成[(+from/of/out of)]
contrast : 對比,對照[U][(+with/to)]
cope : 競爭;對付,妥善處理[(+with)]
creature : 生物;動物
crushing : 支離破碎的
deadly : 致命的,致死的;毒性的
delicate : 脆的,易碎的;嬌貴的
devastating : 破壞性極大的,毀滅性的
dislocate : 使移動位置;使脫臼
distribution : 分發;分配;配給物[U][C]
elasticity : 彈性;彈力
element : 【化】元素[C]
entirely : 完全地;徹底地
existence : 存在,實在[U]
experienced : 有經驗的;老練的;熟練的[(+in/at)]
fearsome : 可怕的
feat : 功績,業績;英勇事跡
feeder : 進食的人(或動物);吸收肥料的植物
finite : 有限;有限之物
flexible : 可彎曲的,易彎曲的;柔韌的;有彈性的
formidable : 可怕的,令人畏懼的
gape : 張口結舌,目瞪口呆
given : 特定的;已知的;假設的
head : 作為...的首領;率領;站在...的前頭[(+up)]
high-resolution : 高分辨的
immobilisation : 不動;固定
impressive : 予人深刻印象的;感人的;令人欽佩
jaw : 頜;顎[C]
journal : 日報;雜誌;期刊
length :  (距離,尺寸的)長度[U][C]
manufacturing :  製造業的;製造的
measure : 測量;計量
mechanical : 機械學的;力學的
metal : 金屬;合金[C][U]
pound :  (重量單位)磅[C]
predation : 掠奪;掠食
predator : 食肉動物;掠奪者
predict : 預言;預料;預報[+that][+wh-]
prehistoric : 有文字記載的歷史以前的,史前的
prey : 被捕食的動物[S1][(for/to)]
razor-sharp : (剃刀般)鋒利的,銳利的
remains : 剩餘(物);遺跡
remarkable : 值得注意的;非凡的;卓越的[(+for)]
scale : "1. 規模;等級
2. 比例;比率"
sharp : 鋒利的;尖的
sheer : 全然的;純粹的[B]
skeleton : 骨骼;骸骨
skull : 頭蓋骨;頭骨
strain : 拉緊;拖緊;伸張
stress : 壓力;緊張;壓迫[U][C][(+on)]
swim bladder : 浮囊;魚鰾
twist : 扭轉;扭彎;旋轉,絞
zoology : 動物學[U]

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