Stories tagged shark attack

Nov
09
2007

Bring 'em on: Come on you nasty sharks...I'll take you all on. (Flickr photo by Cayusa)
Bring 'em on: Come on you nasty sharks...I'll take you all on. (Flickr photo by Cayusa)
The Miami Dolphins on the NFL football field maybe struggling through a winless season so far, but their namesakes off the coast of California chalked up a big win a few months ago.

When surfer Todd Endris was surfing near Monterey on Aug. 28, a 12- to 15-foot great white shark attacked him. It’s not uncommon for surfers to be the targets of sharks, who look up through the water to see what they think is a tasty seal.

Three shark bites peeled skin off his back and had ripped his right leg down to the bone. Then to the rescue came a pod of dolphins.

The formed a protective ring around him, allowing Endris to get his wits about him, paddle to shore and get first aid attention on shore from a friend.

I heard Endris share his tale on the Today Show earlier this week. You can get the full report by clicking here. But my biggest question was left unanswered. Why did the dolphins intervene?

Science doesn’t have the answer yet, but cases of dolphins rescuing people go back to tales from ancient Greece.

Just last year, four lifeguards in New Zealand were saved from sharks by the similar action of a pod of dolphins.

One more interesting twist to the story, within six weeks Endris was back on his surfboard riding the waters off on Monterey again.

So what do you think is at play with dolphins coming to the rescue? Do you think they do this for other species as well, or just humans? Share your thoughts here with Science Buzz readers.

May
29
2007

Non-problem: With only four fatal shark attacks recorded around the world last year, experts describe shark attacks as a "non-problem." What do you think? (photo by davecompton987)
Non-problem: With only four fatal shark attacks recorded around the world last year, experts describe shark attacks as a "non-problem." What do you think? (photo by davecompton987)
Now that Memorial Day is behind us, it’s on to summer and that can mean just one thing: lots of media attention about shark attacks.

But the most recent compilation of shark attack data shows that only four people worldwide died in 2006 from unprovoked shark attacks. A total of 58 people around the globe sustained injuries from sharks.

George Burgess, director of the International Shark Attack File at the University of Florida, not that the numbers may be lower than average, but still point out that sharks get a lot of bad press.

Shark attack fatalities actually were increasing in numbers in the late 20th Century, due largely in part to an increased number of people finding recreation in deep sea diving.

But recent numbers have dipped back down to what Burgess calls a “non-problem, a minor, minor thing.”

None of the fatalities happened off of U.S. waters. A total of 38 injuries happened in the U.S. last year.

So why do shark attack stories generate so much publicity? Personally, I think it’s another sign of our sensationalizing media. They know it’s an automatic story that’s going to generate attention and ratings. What do you think about the hype surrounding shark attacks?