Episode 100: There are still issues…
Although a lot was covered over the last two years in these podcasts, some issues keep popping up, and the most prominent one remains to be the slaughtering of sharks. Our society needs to change should we truly want to get a handle of how we treat animals in general and sharks in particular. The current path sure does not work.
Episode 99: Do we need the hammer?
Hammerhead sharks are probably the most advanced sharks due to their cephalofoil, or hydrofoil. These lateral enlargements come with an array of improvements, ranging from better binocular vision to being able to “turn on a dime.” So are these the sharks of the future?
Episode 98: Why nobody knows how Megalodon looked like
One of the biggest problems when talking extinct sharks is that hardly anything beside their teeth remained and nothing else, making it nearly impossible to draw any conclusion how they must have looked back when. And that is also true for Megalodon, the most famous of them all. But that is not the only problem paleontologists are faced with.
Episode 97: Sharks and decision-making
Animals make decisions to improve their evolutionary fitness, and that includes sharks. So what influences a shark to go for or abort an interaction with a human being? Although it is known that several factors have to come together that an incident with a person can occur, what could tip the scale? Where does the actual decision making start to happen?
Episode 96: Are the worldwide shark incidents on the raise or not?
More often than not, it can be read that shark bites are seemingly increasing. Although the “math behind” is more than just flawed, the more this assumption is mentioned, the harder it gets to question this assumption. Reasons are given what needs to be considered before accepting such a statement.
Episode 95: Focusing on blurriness
A lot has been said about the capabilities of a shark’s eyes. Recently, a rather unknown scientist when it comes to sharks made some statements in the news with reference to the erroneous mistaken identity theory. Not did his scientist still believe in it, he also made some rather idiotic claims substantiating his option. In his arguing for the existence of the theory, he claims that sharks have blurry vision and are color bling thus is simple proof to understand why sharks mistake surfers and swimmers for seals. In this episode, solid evidence is given why a shark’s vision is neither blurry nor color blind, proofing this scientist wrong (what hopefully goes for other scientists as well who still believe in the mistaken identity theory).
Episode 94: Why the ‘rogue shark theory’ is wrong
Dr. Coppleson was the brain behind the ‘rogue shark theory’–the lone shark who prefers to go after people. This theory reflects the basis for the book and movie JAWS. Although Victor Coppleson created a somewhat plausible animal that prefers human flesh, after closer examination, such a shark can not exist.
Episode 93: Do sharks have threat displays against each other beyond what we know so far?
Sharks have a well developed body language that includes threat displays against other sharks. Although these displays are hard to recognize since they may only last for a fraction of second, like gaping or hunching, it should not be forgotten that sharks went through a very long evolution reducing common signals to the bare minimum in order to get the message across. This reduction may be one of the main reasons why we have not recognized more of these displays.
Episode 92: Blame it on the scientists of the 70s
When it comes to the movie JAWS, everybody agrees that it did and still does an incredible damage to sharks. But blaming Peter Benchley, the author of the book, or Steven Spielberg, the director of the film, does not cover it all. The shark scientists of that time supported the wrongful image about sharks, since they too were afraid of them and made their wrongful attitude known.
Episode 91: A shark comes from behind…
Whenever a shark approaches from behind, it is concluded that the animal is sneaking up on the unaware person. It may look that way but such a shark is rather shy and cautious and uses its best possible approach to not being noticed.