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Sharks Essay

1973 words - 8 pages

"It's tail swayed slowly from side to side, pushing the hunters body through the murkywater. All signs of motion were non-existant, except for the rhythmic movement of thewater over the five gill slits on either side of it's head. Slowly gaining speed, the shadyfigures unmoving eyes fixed on it's target, a lost harbor seal pup. As the distance betweenthe predator and it's prey grew closer, the jaws of the massive fish drew forward,exposing nearly eight rows of razor sharp teeth. Strings of it's previous meal hung inrows from between it's teeth. Sensing danger, the harbor seal frantically tried to find aplace to seek refuge, but it was too late. The jaws of the shark closed around the seal withan astounding 14,000 pounds of pressure, cutting the seal in half. The Great White sharkclaims another victim.1"Any one who's seen the famous movie series "Jaws" may look at the Great WhiteShark in a similar manner. Perhaps it's the way that Hollywood uses a mix of fact andfiction in the series. This may have frightened many people into hating the Great Whitefor it's ferocity. It might have also been the size of the shark in the movie that's keptthousands of people off the beaches and out of the water. Better yet, it could have beenthe overall storyline: A Great White shark with an eating disorder and a taste for humanflesh. Perhaps that's what is keeping vacationers from grabbing their trousers andsnorkels.Over all, there have been 1026 attacks on humans by sharks in the last ten years.Only 294 of these attacks have been linked to Great White sharks. That's roughly thenumber of people who drown each year in swimming accidents. Of these 294 attacks, lessthan eighteen percent were fatal. Out of the eighteen fatal incidents more than seventypercent was contributed to loss of blood. This means that the shark didn't kill the victim.The shark bit the victim and then released them (also known as the taste test). The sharksamples the victim by nibbling on an appendage or two often resulting in a severed arteryor other major blood vessel. Therefore, the Great White should be considered a mantasternot a maneater.This intrigued scientists considering the size of the sharks brain. The Great Whitesbrain is about one half the size of a dogs. Over seventy percent of the brain is used fortracking prey. The other thirty percent is used for body functions. Studies show that thesharks main purpose is to eat. People think that the sharks main purpose is to kill. This isincorrect, sharks only eat when they are hungry. Impulses from the brain are sent to thejaws and the stomach telling the shark that it is time to hunt for food."Why do sharks not follow a basic attack pattern on a human? In a human attack, theprimary strike is usually the only contact, as though the shark finds us(humans) to beunpalatable. There is a theory on this as well, involving the differences in our anatomyand the pinnipeds(seals, sea lions). We are mostly muscle where the pinniped body has agreat deal of...

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