A predator is any animal that kills other animals for food. The most powerful predators are flesh eaters, e.g; sharks and
lions. Animals that prey on their own species are called cannibals.
Predators of the sea - Sharks
Sharks - Cold blooded killers?
We, humans, think of sharks as cold blooded killers. Are they? Are sharks really predators? And are sharks really
stalking humans or not? Sylvie Leochko says: "We must not forget that every time we set a foot in the ocean, we enter
their house without having been invited. As a matter of fact, while certain precautions should be taken to avoid shark
attacks we should keep in mind that most of the time, a shark will attack out of confusion or when feeling threatened by
human’s presence. Humans are NOT their favorite food; on the contrary, sharks prefer chubby seals than bony humans."
The two largest sharks - the Whale shark and the Basking shark - are virtually harmless to people and can literally be
approached by divers without any safety concerns? The same can be said about the Leopard shark, the Horn shark, the
Brown Smoothhound shark and the zebra shark.
According to the ISAF (International Shark Attack File) between 1580 and 2005, there were 1187 unprovoked shark
attacks done by 36 types of sharks. In fact, 17 of the 36 species involved in unprovoked shark attacks were responsible
for 5 shark attacks or less. These types of sharks are: the Galapagos shark, the Tope shark, the Silvertip shark, the Spiny
Dogfish shark, the Tresher shark, The Bignose shark, the Smooth Dogfish shark, the Basking shark, the Horn shark, the
Sixgill shark, the Whale shark, the Greenland shark, the Whitetip Reef shark, the Porbeagle shark, the Leopard shark,
the Mako shark and the Great Hammerhead shark.
Of the remaining 19 types of sharks known to harm humans, 6 types of sharks are responsible for 6 to 9 unprovoked shark
attacks. These are the following species: the Grey Reef shark, the Oceanic Whitetip shark, the Sandbar shark, the
Sevengill shark, the Dusky shark and the Silky shark.
Of the 13 types of sharks that are left, 3 species are responsible for 14 to 19 unprovoked shark attacks. These are the
following types of sharks: the Spinner shark, the Blacktip Reef shark and the Bronze Whaler shark.
Of the 10 types of sharks that have been involved in 23 to 27 unprovoked shark attacks on humans, you have the
3 following shark species: the Lemon shark, the Caribbean Reef shark and the Wobbegong shark.
Now you have the top ten sharks that have been known to attack humans, 7 species are responsible for unprovoked
shark attacks while 3 species that were mentioned earlier on this page have been involved in provoked shark attacks.
The 7 species are: the Great White shark, the Tiger shark, the Bull shark, the Sand Tiger shark, the Requiem shark, the
Nurse shark and the Blacktip shark.
The top 10 species are: the Great White shark (1), the Tiger shark (2), the Bull shark (3), the Sand Tiger shark (4),
the Requiem shark (5), the Nurse shark (6), the Shortfin Mako (7), the Blacktip shark (8), the Hammerhead shark (9) and
the Blue shark (10). The numbers of shark attacks done by these species vary between 36 and 410.
As you can see, the 20% types of sharks involved in shark attacks may seem impressive but not as alarming as you
may have thought at first.
*The statistics show that in 2004, there were 61 unprovoked shark attacks and 30 of them in the US. Out of a population
of 300 million your chances are 1 in 10 million that you would be attacked.
*Only eight have been killed by sharks in South African waters in the last 43 years.
*In the past 300 years only 17 shark attacks against humans have been recorded in the waters off New Jersey, 5 of which
Vinnie La Sorsa's broader picture regarding shark attacks
let me share some facts regarding shark attacks and information about the Shark species and population.
• In 1999 and 2000 their were more shark attacks then in 2001. Yet the media named by 2001 the “Summer of the Shark”.
And most of the Shark bites in 2001 were not for certain Shark bites, they could have been Barracuda or Bluefish bites.
• There are 475 different species of Sharks in the world’s oceans and coastal waters, only 15% of the shark species
inhabit coastal waters or shallow depths where anyone would encounter these species. 400 of the 475 total species of
sharks are smaller then 6.5FT in length and 50% of that 400 grow smaller then 3.5FT in length. It is not true that the larger
the shark the more likely it is to attack Humans, the largest sharks like the Whale Shark and Basking Shark feed on
Plankton and are docile creatures.
• In all of the shark species, there are 4 species which have been responsible for 85% of all Shark attacks. The Species
are the Great White Shark, the Tiger Shark, the Bull Shark and the Great Hammerhead Shark.
• On a worldwide average there are less then 75 shark attacks per year and only 2% of them fatal.
• What are your odds of being attacked by a shark? There were 58 unprovoked shark attacks world wide in 2005, out of
that a total of 38 happened in the United States. The US has a population of 300 million, your odds of being a victim of a
shark attack are 1 in 8 million. In comparison, your odds of dying from a fall down the stairs are 1 in 200,000. Your odds
of dying from a wasp, bee or hornet sting are 1 in 5.9 million. Your odds of dying from a lightning strike are 1 in 4.3 million.
Your odds of drowning in your bathtub are 1 in 800.000. Other causes of death with a higher probability then being
attacked by a shark are: dying from an adverse reaction to antibiotics with the odds being 1 in 7 million, being killed by a
falling object has odds of 1 in 400,000, being killed by an agricultural machine has odds of 1 in 500,000 and being killed
in a motor vehicle accident has odds of 1 in 6,000. In comparison do Sharks still seem so scary?
Sharks do not plan attacks on human beings, Sharks are not smart enough to plot. Shark attacks happen because
sharks become confused and accidentally bite humans because they mistake them as prey.
Almost 95% of shark attacks happen in 6FT of water or less, if you notice the geographical locations or conditions which
they happen the attacks are almost always in areas where water clarity and visibility are poor. When the water clarity is
poor sharks rely more on their senses which pick up movement and vibrations rather then there eyesight, so swimmers
wading in the murky shallows rarely but sometimes get a sharks attention. Sharks don’t enjoy the taste of human flesh
or the smell of human blood, in fact when Sharks identify us correctly they will not attack unless provoked.
Sharks sometimes bite humans because much like a dog who feels its food with it’s mouth first before they consume it,
due to the fact they do not have hands as “feelers”, to figure out if the food is edible. A Sharks mouth is it’s only way of
feeling and testing any object it finds questionable, unfortunately by the time a Shark figures out it doesn’t want or is
uninterested in the object in question it has suffered a shark bite.
Sharks are some of the oldest creatures on the planet, we should do our best to understand and protect them.
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