Share This Article:

Shark Cognition and a Human Mediated Driver of a Spate of Shark Attacks

Full-Text HTML Download Download as PDF (Size:3530KB) PP. 263-269
DOI: 10.4236/ojas.2014.45033    2,793 Downloads   3,946 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Five unprovoked shark attacks are reported from Sharm-El-Sheikh, Egypt, between 30 November and 5 December 2010. Three of the five attacks are attributed to an oceanic whitetip shark, Carcharinus longimanus with a distinctive crescent-shaped notch in the upper lobe of the caudal fin. The shark was observed during the first attack on a snorkeler and photographed underwater during the second shark attack on a swimmer. In a video taken several months prior to the attacks, the same shark is hand-fed underwater by a divemaster with additional fish in a pack over his buttock. The shark can be seen swimming behind the divemaster while he removed additional fish from this pack. In Victims 1, 2 and 5, the shark removed an extensive amount of tissue from the victims’ buttock. The three victims also lost a hand and/or a portion of their forearm, suggesting the injuries were inflicted by a shark conditioned to associating food with hand-feedings and the human form. The remaining two attacks, Cases 3 and 4, were attributable to the shortfin mako shark, Isurus oxyrinchus. This was determined from a unique dental pattern of the right side of the upper jaw due to a prior injury. This same “misalignment” dental pattern was observed in the injuries sustained by Victims 3 and 4. We conclude that the shortfin mako shark was responsible for the attacks on Victims 3 and 4, and the oceanic whitetip shark was the causal species of attacks on Victims 1, 2, and 5.

Cite this paper

Levine, M. , Collier, R. , Ritter, E. , Fouda, M. and Canabal, V. (2014) Shark Cognition and a Human Mediated Driver of a Spate of Shark Attacks. Open Journal of Animal Sciences, 4, 263-269. doi: 10.4236/ojas.2014.45033.

References

[1] Coppleson, V.M. (1933) Shark Attacks in Australian Waters. Medical Journal of Australia, 1, 449-467.
[2] Coppleson, V.M. (1950) A Review of Shark Attacks in Australian Waters since 1919. Medical Journal of Australia, 2, 680-687.
[3] Coppleson, V.M. (1958) Shark Attack. Angus & Robertson Ltd., London.
[4] Baldridge, H.D. (1975) Shark Attack. Berkley Medallion Books, New York.
[5] Miller, D.J. and Collier, R.S. (1981) Shark Attacks in California and Oregon, 1926-1979. California Fish & Game, 67, 76-104.
[6] Collier, R.S. (1992) Recurring Attacks by White Sharks on Divers at Two Pacific Sites off Mexico and California. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 33, 319-325.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00005879
[7] Collier, R.S. (1993) Shark Attacks off the California Islands: Review and Update. In: Hochberg, F.G., Ed., 7rd California Islands Symposium: Recent Advances in Research on the California Islands, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, Santa Barbara, 453-462.
[8] Collier, R.S. (2003) Shark Attacks of the Twentieth Century: From the Pacific Coast of North America. Scientia Publishing, Chatsworth.
[9] Fernicola, R. (2001) Twelve Days of Terror: A Definitive Investigation of the 1916 New Jersey Shark Attacks. Lyons Press, Guilford.
[10] Clark, E. (1959) Instrumental Conditioning in Lemon Sharks. Science, 130, 217-218.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.130.3369.217-a
[11] Clark, E. (1963) Maintenance of Sharks in Captivity with a Report on Their Instrumental Conditioning. In: Gilbert, P.W., Ed., Sharks and Survival, Heath & Co., Boston, 115-149.
[12] Clark, E. (1978) Sharks That Ring Bells. In: Taylor, V., Taylor, R. and Goadby, P., Eds., Great Shark Stories, Harper & Row Publishers, New York, 109-124.
[13] Aronson, L.R., Aronson, F.R. and Clark, E. (1996) Instrumental Conditioning and Light-Dark Discrimination in Young Nurse Sharks. Bulletin of Marine Science, 17, 249-256.
[14] Porcher, I.F. (2010) My Sunset Rendezvous. Strategic Book Group, Durham, Connecticut.
[15] Guttridge, T.L., van Dijk, S., Stamhis, E.J., Krause, J., Gruber, S.H. and Brown, C. (2013) Social Learning in Juvenile Lemon Sharks, Negaprion brevirostris. Animal Cognition, 16, 5-64.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10071-012-0550-6
[16] Randall, J.E. and Levy, M.F. (1976) A Near-Fatal Shark Attack by a Mako in the Northern Red Sea. Israel Journal of Zoology, 25, 61-70.
[17] Byard, R.W., Gilbert, J.D. and Brown, K. (2000) Pathologic Features of Fatal Shark Attacks. The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology, 21, 225-229.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/00000433-200009000-00008
[18] Byard, R.W., James, R.A. and Heath, K.J. (2006) Recovery of Human Remains after Shark Attack. The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology, 27, 256-259.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/01.paf.0000221081.80866.5c
[19] Ferrante, O. and Vital, J. C. (2005) Underwater Recovery at 3300 Feet. ISASI Forum, 38, 14-17.
[20] Compagno, L.J.V. (1982) The Shark Fauna of the Red Sea. In: Abdel Latif, A.F., Bayoumi, A.R. and Thompson, M.F., Eds., Marine Science in the Red Sea, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference on the Red Sea, Bulletin of the Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries (Egypt), Vol. 9, 381-406.
[21] Compagno, L.J.V. (1984) FAO Species Catalogue. Volume 4—Sharks of the World, Part 1—Hexanchiformes to Lamniformes and Part 2—Carcharhiniformes. United Nations Development Programme, Rome.
[22] Levine, M. (1996) Shark Attacks of Southern Africa In: Klimley, P.A. and Ainley, D., Eds., Great White Sharks: Biology of Carcharodon carcharias, Academic Press, San Diego, 217-222.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/B978-012415031-7/50041-0
[23] Applegate, S.P. (1965) Tooth Terminology and Variation in Sharks with Special Reference to the Sand Tiger, Carcharias taurus Rafinesque. Los Angeles County Museum Contributions in Science, 86, 1-18.
[24] Martin, R.A., Hammerschlag, N., Collier, R.S. and Fallows, C. (2005) Predatory Behaviour of White Sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) at Seal Island, South Africa. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 85, 1121-1135.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S002531540501218X
[25] Bushnell, P.G., Lutz, P.L. and Gruber, S.H. (1989) The Metabolic Rate of an Active, Tropical Elasmobranch, the Lemon Shark (Negaprion brevirostris). Experimental Biology, 48, 279-283.
[26] Ritter, E.K. and Levine, M. (2004) Use of Forensic Analysis to Better Understand Shark Behavior. Journal of Forensic Odonto-Stomatology, 22, 40-46.
[27] Ritter, E.K. and Levine, M. (2005) Bite Motivation of Sharks Reflected by the Wound Structure on Humans. The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology, 26, 136-40.
[28] Ritter, E.K., Lutz, K. and Levine, M. (2008) When Humans and Sharks Meet. In: Olsson, F.M., Ed., New Developments in the Psychology of Motivation, Nova Biomedical Books, New York, 45-52.

  
comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2017 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.