THE MOST DANGEROUS SHARK

by Editor on December 31, 2011

A Great White Shark Smiles For The Camera. Photo: Mila Zinkova

The Great White Shark Is The World’s Most Dangerous Species of Shark

There are at least ten species of sharks that will occasionally bite, and even kill, humans who enter their habitat. By far, however, the species responsible for the most attacks, non-fatal as well as deadly, on human beings is the great white shark (Carcharodon charcharias).

According to the International Shark Attack File, of 1,279 attacks on humans documented between the years 1580 and 2010 for which the species of attacking shark was identified, 403, or nearly one out of three, were by great whites. Of these great white attacks, however, only around 65 were fatal.

There are several reasons for the great white shark’s dubious distinction of being man’s main predator in the ocean. The first is that it is the largest predatory shark species, sometimes growing to lengths of 20 feet or more (6 meters), and therefore capable of carrying out a fatal attack on a person. Another is that great whites frequently prey on seals and other sea mammals that are about the same size and general shape as a human; aggression against humans by great whites is thought to often result from the shark’s mistaking the victim for a member of one of its regular prey species. Lastly, great whites frequently hunt for their prey along shorelines the world over—which are exactly the places where they are most likely to come into contact with wading, swimming, or surfing humans.

However, it is important to point out that shark attacks of any kind on human beings are exceedingly rare. Sharks are dwindling the world over due to persecution by humans, and all species, including the great white, have much more to fear from us than we have from them.

Follow the link to see a map of where most of the world’s shark attacks occur.

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