Osmosis, in a Shark?

Yes, white sharks have gills which are exterior respiratory organs, and their gas exchange is similar to Osmosis in plants, accept theirs has a bit more bodily function. Sharks have to constantly move to allow flow of water over gills. In the gills of a white shark are filaments with capillaries, deoxygenated blood on one end of the fold and oxygenated blood on the other. The filament runs on either side of the gill slit. As water flows through the gills, the blood flows through those filaments counterclockwise. This way the oxygen rich water hits the deoxygenated capillary and simple diffusion takes place and oxygen enters the white sharks blood vessels and makes its way to tissues. The idea is once the oxygen in water gets diffused, that water is now deoxygenated and flows over the oxygen rich capillary now carrying blood away from the gills and into the circulatory system. This way, the high concentration to low concentration method, like Osmosis, keeps oxygen from diffusing ot of the sharks gills and into the water.

Work Cited: Ritter, B., Adam-Carr, C.,& Fraser, D. (2002). Nelson: Biology 11.


Breathing Underwater

As mentioned before, sharks are fish, and therefore require movement to breathe because water has to flow through their gills so it can be converted into oxygen. Some shark are able to pump water to their gills using strong cheek muscles and wide spiracles at the side of their head, however the Great White Shark is more evolved. It developed a style of breathing called obligate ram ventilation. This means it is mandatory for the shark to be moving constantly or it will drown.

Work Cited: (2012). Shark Breathing: Buccal Pumping and Ram Ventilation. Retreived From: http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/life/zoology/marine-life/shark-drown1.htm