Rethink the Shark

Sharks have a long and impressive lineage.  Ancient sharks were cruising the ocean 400 million year ago- long before dinosaurs roamed on land.  Relatives of the great white like the giant megatooth evolved more than 20 million years ago.  But today, sharks are threatened from a different predator.

Every year, humans kill an estimated 70 million sharks. The threats we pose are many. By-catch: the accidental killing of sharks in fishing gear intended for other species. Illegal poaching and hunting: selling shark fins for soup and sportfishing for shark-jaw trophies. Nets: placed along coastlines to keep sharks away from beaches. It turns out that sharks have more reason to fear humans than the other way around. 

So, what poses a greater threat to humans--sharks or toasters? The creators of this public service announcement try to put the human fear of shark attacks in perspective.

Discover more about shark's biology, habitat, and status in the Great White Shark section, and check out the Smithsonian Ocean Portal's Top 5 Reasons you should Revere, Not Fear, the Shark.