Shark Week – 5 Deadliest Sharks
It’s Shark Week once again. I have to admit, I am addicted to Shark Week. The Discovery Channel kicked off Shark Week last night (Sunday Aug. 2nd) at 9pm with a 2 hour special about the true story behind the book and movie Jaws, “Blood in the Water.” At 8pm, right before the 2 hour special, the Discovery Channel aired the “10 Deadliest Sharks.” Just in case you missed it, here’s a recap of the top 5:
Bull Shark – They are not the biggest sharks in the ocean. They average 7-11.5 feet in length and weigh 200-500 lbs. Due to a very high level of Testosterone, Bull Sharks are extremely aggressive and will attack almost anything, including humans. Bull Sharks are believed to have the highest number of attacks on humans but were often mistaken for Great Whites, Grey Nurse Sharks and Ganges Sharks. They lurk in shallow coastal waters and they’re very tolerant of fresh water. Bull Sharks are often found swimming miles up river in fresh water. It’s believed that Bull Sharks are responsible for the Jersey Shore Shark Attacks of 1916, which was the inspiration for the book and movie “Jaws.”
Great Whites - Great Whites are found in coastal waters in every ocean. They’re very picky eaters and humans are certainly not their food of choice. Great Whites prefer seals and other large fish like Red Snapper. It’s believed that humans are mistaken for seals in most Great White attacks on humans. It’s also believed that Great Whites don’t like the taste of human flesh, but they do account for the most recorded attacks on humans. Great Whites can reach 20 feet and length in they can weigh up to 5000 lbs.
Tiger Sharks – Tiger Sharks can reach 10-14 feet in length and weigh as much as 1400 lbs. Large specimens can reach 25 feet in length and weigh over 1900 lbs. They are named for their dark tiger-like stripes found on juveniles. The stripes fade as the sharks age. They are second only to Great Whites in recorded attacks on humans. They are scavengers and will eat just about anything which makes them a little more dangerous than the Great White, which often leave after the initial attack on a human. Tigers will continue to attack and devour. They live primarily in the tropic and sub-tropic climates in both deep and shallow waters.
Oceanic White Tip- Highly opportunistic and aggressive. The White Tip is a “Feeding Frenzy” hunter, where individuals will converge on a food source once one is obtained. Very large and slow moving shark found mostly in the deep open waters. The White Tip Named for it’s white tipped fins. The Oceanic White Tip averages 10 feet in length but can reach up to 13 feet. The average weight is around 370 lbs. and female is usually larger than the male. The Oceanic White Tip is not a great threat to bathers and or in-shore fishing, but the most dangerous for anyone shipwrecked (boat or airplane) in the open waters. Some believe the Oceanic White Tip is responsible for the most human deaths (more than all sharks combined) due to their attacks on the shipwrecked, but most of these attacks are not on record.
Shortfin Mako – The fastest of all sharks. Their average length is 6-10 feet, average weight 135-880 lbs. They are known for their speed and ability to leap out of the water. They are found world-wide in temperate and tropical climates. There are very few recorded unprovoked attacks on humans, but they are extremely quick to attack when provoked. There are reports Makos releasing themselves from fishing lines and actually leaping out of the water to attack the fishermen in the boat. Sounds crazy, but true considering they can leap up to 20 feet out of the water.
The other 5 sharks on the list of 10 Most Deadly are: #6 Grey Reef Shark, #7 Sand Tiger Shark, #8 Hammerheads (my personal favorite), #9 Blue Shark and #10 Lemon Sharks.
Tune in to The Discovery Channel all this week for “Shark Week.” Feel free to submit you own Best 5 list or comment on some of the others, we would love to hear from you.