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Dangerous to Divers
The potential danger that the shark poses to humankind has been the subject of much discussion. Opinions have run the gambit. For example, in 1558, Guillaume Rondelet, a prominent French biologist, wrote of the school shark (Galeorhinus galeus), "This fish so longs to wound men in the thighs, the groin, the heels, or any exposed part, that it sometimes leaps onto dry land when it sees men with bare legs near the water . . ." This aggressive behavior, no doubt a product of Rondelet's imagination, is amazing when one considers that this particular fish attains a length of only 1.8 m (6 feet) and generally eats small fishes and squids. Over 300 years later, Henry David Thoreau penned, "I have no doubt that one shark in a dozen years is enough to keep up the reputation of a beach a hundred miles long."
In this Coral Realm feature article we will look at those shark species that are a potential threat to divers. It includes a photo gallery (consisting of 12 beautiful photos) of many of the species that can be dangerous to divers, as well as two side bars (one on man-eaters and one on man-biters). There are links in these side bars to the species profiles of the sharks listed. So what are your waiting for...dive in!