Hooded Crow, Corvus cornix, in flight
Lemon shark watching surfer at surface. It seems possible that the image of a surfer on the surface lying on the surfboard could be mistaken for a sea lion or seal by sharks that feed on these marine mammals. All the more so since attacks usually come down to just one bite and then let go; as if they realized the mistake.
Increasingly, people and sharks come into contact as humans spend their leisure time in the seas and oceans. Many people fear sharks and particularly being attacked/bitten by one, but it is important to remember that these incidents are rare. Indeed, in 2017, the International Shark Attack File (ISAF), housed at the University of Florida, received reports of 88 confirmed unprovoked attacks worldwide, five of which (~6%) were tragically fatal; but this must be viewed in the light of the billions of people entering the water every year. Overall, surfers and swimmers account for about 80% of shark attack victims and, while the number of attacks has increased (possibly a reflection of an increasing human population), for the past few decades, the fatality rate has been falling through a combination of better education and advances in medical care. Mistaken identity is frequently cited by the media to explain shark attacks on humans. It is now considered far more probable, however, that such human-shark interactions are the result of a shark's curiosity. Sharks are intelligent, socially complex animals. They're not the ruthless killing machines frequently portrayed in the media. Globally we know of nearly 500 different species of sharks, at least two-thirds of which grow to less than 2m (6ft) in length and aren't considered a threat to humans. There's no getting away from the fact that some shark species (like many animals) do sometimes bite, even kill, humans. If sharks were truly interested in eating humans, though, they could have a veritable smorgasbord every weekend along beaches in almost every country. Shark attacks remain rare, however, even in areas where the large shark species are afforded legal protection and particularly relative to the increasing number of people using coastal waters. Unfortunately for humans, a curious shark can be a deadly shark - blood vessels close to the skin and a fragile frame make us very prone to damage if a shark investigates us with its mouth. Concept image illustrating most usual shark attack situations
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