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Shark Week Unleashes Underwater Sensationalism: This Week’s TV Picks

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It’s Shark Week once again on the Discovery Channel, that annual celebration of sensationalism and hyperbole when it comes to our favorite undersea predators. Discovery’s schedule for the week is full of such attention-grabbing, over-the-top titles as Lair of the Mega-Shark, Spawn of Jaws 2: The Birth, and Zombie Sharks. If you think that sounds more like the programming lineup of a Syfy Saturday night, well, you’re not alone. If you’re looking for thoughtful, intelligent examinations of the nature and biology of sharks, Shark Week probably isn’t the ideal destination. (For a variety of reasons.) Still, if you just want to watch high-definition video of sharks biting things, Discovery has got you sorted.

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This Shark Has A Lightsaber

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A shark with a lightsaber? What more could you possibly want? Researchers have found that the velvet belly lanternshark (Etmopterus spinax) uses “lightsaber-like” spines in order to ward off potential predators.

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This variety of lanternshark is just a little guy. The largest of the species tops out at around 60cm in length, though most adults rarely exceed 45cm. You can see why wielding the preferred weapon of the Jedi Knights might come in handy from time to time.