Sharks and rays are sisters. As a species, sharks come in all shapes and sizes. They can be found in all seas and generally do not venture into freshwater territory. Shark teeth are embedded in the gums rather than directly affixed to the jaw. These teeth are constantly replaced throughout the course of a shark’s life. Shark females have larger teeth because they are usually larger than males.

In Oceania and America, shark teeth were commonly used for tools, especially for making weapons. Blades were also fashioned from shark teeth to carve wood and make knives for food preparation.

A shark attack is a term coined to express the phenomena of sharks attacking humans. It is called an ‘attack’ for unlike most animals, shark attacks are indeed rare and usually unprovoked. The three species of sharks associated with unprovoked attacks include: the great white, the tiger shark and the bull shark. A shark is thus one of the few animals that sees a human being as food source. Even as we cite these tendencies and statistics, it is important to remember that only less than a handful of species of sharks are actually dangerous to humans.

When it comes to shark attacks, there are three ways in which the shark may go after a human victim. The first is a hit-and-run attack. These are usually non-fatal. The shark bites and leaves. Most victims do not have the opportunity to see the shark. In the second event of a sneak attack, the victim will not usually see the shark and sustain multiple deep bites. Unlike the first, this kind of attack is predatory in nature and is carried out with the intention of consuming the victim.

The final type of shark attack and one that has been popularly depicted in film is where the shark circles and bumps the victim before biting. Great whites, in particular, are known to do this from time to time. It is when the shark is testing to identify what he has bitten. When a victim thrashes or panics, this can lead to the great white biting again and again.

Sharks seem to have a sixth sense when it comes to finding and discovering an opponent’s weakness. Their need to stay active is well-known. When we call people sharks, we are usually referring to individuals who can succeed in certain sorts of professions: athletes, venture capitalists, stockbrokers and even in the military personnel. It is the physical power of the animal combined with speed and determination that has led to sharks even being classified as ‘bullies’.

One interesting relationship is the one between dolphins and sharks. Dolphins are known to occasionally antagonise sharks when they feel threatened. More aggressive dolphins will even ram sharks with their noses and slam into them with the whole force of their bodies. Sharks have been known to swim away from such encounters both battered and bruised. Orca whales are also known to hunt sharks.

On a more positive note, shark wisdom calls on us to be swift and to attack with sureness and speed. With the gift of speed, we can sometimes overcome impossible odds and even achieve goals that are beyond our capabilities. It is all about enjoying the challenge on the path to overcoming adversaries and biting into our full potential.

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