Someone at the beach is swimming out in the deeper water, and all of a sudden, a dorsal fin pops out. For everyone on the beach who sees it, music from Jaws starts playing in their heads. The swimmer does not even notice it, and in a few seconds, a great white shark veraciously attacks him. This is what comes to mind when most people think of sharks, but they are not really just man-eating monsters of the sea. Sharks are a fascinating group of fishes that strike fear into the minds of humans, but they are nothing to be afraid of.
There are over 475 different species of sharks, but only a few of these are considered to be dangerous to people. These include Great White Sharks, Tiger Sharks, and Bull Sharks. Most species of sharks do not even come close enough to shore to interact with humans. They usually live out in the open ocean or near a reef, where food is abundant. When they do come in close to shore, they are usually lost, confused, or following a group of fish and seals. People commonly think that sharks make plans to attack them, but really, sharks aren’t even smart enough to plot against a human. Almost 95% of all shark attacks are in 6 feet of water or less, and the clarity and visibility of the water is usually very poor. When the water clarity is poor, sharks rely more on their senses, which pick up movement and vibrations, rather then their eyesight. So every once in a while, swimmers wading or swimming in murky water will get a sharks attention and cause it to bite them. Sharks do not like the taste of human flesh, and they will almost always spit it out if they get a piece. When they identify us correctly, they will not attack unless provoked. Most of the time, they think that a human is a seal or a big fish, and take a bite of it just to see what it is. The shark isn’t trying to eat the person, because if they did want to, every shark attack would probably be a fatality.
Sharks also play a key role in helping to control their...
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