History of Humans and Sharks: Ancient People, Art and Writers

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Shark teeth found in Neanderthal cave in Portugal

Neanderthals in present-day Portugal ate sharks, dolphins, fish, mussels and seals according to a study published in March 2020 in the journal Science.. The BBC reported: Scientists found evidence for an intensive reliance on seafood at a Neanderthal site in southern Portugal. Neanderthals living between 106,000 and 86,000 years ago at the cave of Figueira Brava near Setubal were eating mussels, crab, fish — including sharks, eels and sea bream — seabirds, dolphins and seals. [Source: Paul Rincon, Science editor, BBC News website, 26 March 2020]

The research team, led by Dr João Zilhão from the University of Barcelona, Spain, found that marine food made up about 50 percent of the diet of the Figueira Brava Neanderthals. The other half came from terrestrial animals, such as deer, goats, horses, aurochs (ancient wild cattle) and tortoises.

For decades, the ability to gather food from the sea and from rivers was seen as something unique to our own species. Some of the earliest known evidence for the exploitation of marine resources by modern humans (Homo sapiens) dates to around 160,000 years ago in southern Africa. A few researchers previously proposed a theory that the brain-boosting fatty acids seafood contributed to enhanced cognitive development in early modern humans.

Websites and Resources: Shark Foundation shark.swiss ; International Shark Attack Files, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida floridamuseum.ufl.edu/shark-attacks ; Tracking Sharks trackingsharks.com, which records all global shark attacks; Animal Diversity Web (ADW) animaldiversity.org; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) noaa.gov; Fishbase fishbase.se ; Encyclopedia of Life eol.org ; Smithsonian Oceans Portal ocean.si.edu/ocean-life-ecosystems

“Shark Hook” Used off Israel's Coast 6,000 Years Ago

In March 2023, researchers announced they had an unearthed a large copper "shark hook" at a newly discovered village buried under a known archaeological site in Israel. Live Science reported: Archaeologists unearthed the "shark hook" during a 2018 survey along the Mediterranean coast on the outskirts of Ashkelon, a city that was built on top of an ancient seaport of the same name and dates back as far as ancient Egypt. New excavations revealed parts of a village that date back around 6,000 years to the Chalcolithic period, also known as the "Copper Age," which lasted between 4500 B.C. and 3500 B.C. in the region. [Source: Harry Baker, Live Science, March 31, 2023]

6,000-year-old "shark" hook?

The hook is around 2.5 inches (6.5 centimeters) long and 1.6 inches (4 cm) wide, which is big enough to reel in sharks between 6.5 and 10 feet (2 and 3 meters) long, such as dusky sharks (Carcharhinus obscurus) and sandbar sharks (Carcharhinus plumbeus), or large fish such as tuna, all of which are local to the Mediterranean. However, given what marine biologists know about the deep-sea ecosystems in the region, sharks were a more likely target, according to The Times of Israel.

The discovery is a "unique find" because most other fishing hooks uncovered from this time period are smaller and made from bone, Yael Abadi-Reiss, an archaeologist with the Israel Antiquities Authority who co-led the excavation, said in a statement. It's possible that this is one of the first metal variants that people created in the region, considering copper was a relatively new material at the time, she added. "The rare fishhook tells the story of the village fishermen who sailed out to sea in their boats and cast the newly invented copper fishhook into the water, hoping to add coastal sharks to the menu," Abadi-Reiss said.

80 Million-Year-Old Shark Teeth Found in a 3,000-Year-Old Jerusalem Basement

In 2021, researchers announced that they had unearthed a mysterious cache of 80-million-year-old fossilized shark teeth in a 3,000-year-old basement in Jerusalem. During a presentation at the Goldschmidt Conference, archaeologist Dr. Thomas Tuetken of the Institute of Geosciences at the University of Mainz, said that the shark teeth were found among debris and discarded material that were used to fill in the lowest level of an Iron-Age house in the village of Silwan (which later became Jerusalem). Heritage Daily reported the teeth were found with food waste and pottery shards from a period that dates just after the death of the biblical King Solomon.[Source: Candida Moss, Daily Beast, July 18, 2021]

more shark teeth found in Neanderthal cave in Portugal

Candida Moss wrote in the Daily Beast: “Initially, the archeologists thought that the teeth were just waste from food preparation. It was only when a reviewer prompted them to revisit the evidence that they realized that the remains came from a Late Cretaceous shark that had been extinct for at least 66 million years. Further scientific testing performed by the team revealed, said Tuetken, that “all 29 shark teeth found in the City of David were Late Cretaceous fossils — contemporary with the dinosaurs.” The strontium isotope composition of the teeth suggests an age of about 80 million years.

“The question at that point was, how did the teeth get there? Tuetken notes that they were almost certainly transported to the region, “possibly from the Negev, at least 80 kilometers away, where similar fossils” have been found. The team’s “working hypothesis is that the teeth were brought together by collectors… There are no wear marks which [had they been present] might show that they were used as tools, and no drill holes to indicate that they may have been jewelry. We know that there is a market for shark teeth even today, so it may be that there was an Iron Age trend for collecting such items.”

The 10th century BCE was a period of economic development and flourishing in Judea. Collecting is a wealthy person’s hobby: that the teeth were discovered alongside administrative bullae (the seals used to secure and authenticate ancient correspondence) further supports this theory. “We don’t have anything to confirm” that, cautioned Tuetken, “it’s too easy to put 2 and 2 together to make 5. We’ll probably never really be sure.The teeth in question have been identified as belonging to several species of extinct Squalicorax, or crow shark, a coastal predator and scavenger that grew to between 2 and 5 meters (for reference a great white shark grows to between 3-6 meters depending on its sex).

Sharks in the Ancient World

Few sharks roam the waters of the Mediterranean today, but that is not to say ancient people were not fascinated with them. Candida Moss wrote in the Daily Beast: For centuries human-eating sea monsters dominated the imagination of ancient peoples, who saw them as inherently terrifying. One of the first known accounts of a shark was a description written by Herodotus in 492 B.C., describing shipwrecked Persian sailors being attacked by “sea monsters” in the Mediterranean. Centuries later the Greek poet Leonidas of Tarentum immortalized a sponge diver named Tharsys who was bitten in two by a shark. Sharks also have been featured prominently in the literature and folk stories of groups from Hawaii to west Africa to Australia. The ancient Mayans regarded them as sacred but evil. Polynesians considered them to be guardian spirits. They have stories about royals who roped sharks and rode them like bulls. [Source: Candida Moss, Daily Beast, July 18, 2021]

nurse shark in a second-century BCE mosaic from a Roman house in PompeiiPhoto by Naples National Archaeological Museum

The presence of sharks in the Mediterranean is well documented in archaeology, but is also clear just from reading ancient literature. The third century BCE Greek poet Leonidas describes the death of a sponge diver at the hands of a shark and Aristotle even gives a lengthy description of the shark in his History of Animals. The Roman admiral and encyclopedia writer Pliny notes that sponge divers often had run-ins with sharks and advised that “the only safe course is to turn on the sharks and frighten them” (Natural History 9.148) Other writers like Diogenes describe sea monsters that can “swallow up both ships and their men.”

“Arguably the expert here is the second century CE Greek writer Oppian, whose influential poem the Halieutica uses the world of the sea to describe the order of the universe. As University of Nottingham classicist Emily Kneebone shows in her engaging and recently released book on the subject, Oppian describes the “terrors of the sea” — the Hammer-head, Saw-fish, Dog-fish, and solitary sharks — as outstripping their terrestrial counterparts the lion, leopard, bear and wild boar. The terrors of the sea were so considerable, Oppian writes, that the young of Dogfish would renter her “loins” when they got frightened (yes, it was apparently as painful as it sounds). The poem concludes with a whale-chase to make Melville envious: a huge sea monster from the depths — something that Kneebone describes as lying “somewhere between a shark and a whale in form” — is hunted down and killed.

Shark-Like Beasts in The Bible

Candida Moss wrote in the Daily Beast: “While it tends not to provide anatomical descriptions, the Bible has more than its fair share of sea monsters. In the book of Jonah the protagonist is famously swallowed whole by a “big fish” while trying to evade God’s prophetic call. [Source: Candida Moss, Daily Beast, July 18, 2021]

“The most terrifying biblical sea creature, however, is Leviathan, an enormous sea monster referenced in Psalmody, by the prophets Amos and Isaiah, and in the book of Job. According to some Leviathan was a sea serpent but some Jewish traditions refer to it as a “dragon” or just a monster.

from the Poker Bible

A popular 19th-century theory speculated that it was a crocodile. According to the Rabbinic text Baba Bathra 75 Leviathan will be killed and eaten at the banquet that takes place at the end of time (the rest of it gets hung on the wall). Other Jewish legends about Leviathan preserved in rabbinic texts include the idea that it can make the waters of the ocean boil, smells dreadful, and is afraid of a small worm that gets in the gills of fish and kills them.

“In Christian tradition Leviathan is associated Satan and envy. His jaws are sometimes shown as the hellmouth, the gateway through which people descend into hell at the Last Judgment. Even serious theologians develop this theme: one prominent theory of salvation espoused by prominent bishop and saint Gregory of Nyssa in his Great Catechism pictures the devil as a large fish who swallows people when they die. After the crucifixion Satan mistakenly consumes Jesus on the assumption that he is just another human being. It’s a trap. Jesus becomes the fishhook by which Satan is forced to “bring up again” — i.e., vomit — all of the people he had previously swallowed. Call this the emetic theory of salvation, if you will (or its actual name the Christus Victor theory of salvation). Traces of this idea are found in Christian writers as early as the second century and show, as Kneebone argues for Oppian, the way that the sea monster is both a mythical prototype for everything bad and a plausible candidate for the terrors of the natural world.

Ancient Shark Hunters of Peru

University of Florida archaeologist Gabriel Prieto has spent years excavating ancient fishing villages in Peru north of where the Moche River flows into the Pacific Ocean. Eric A. Powell wrote in Archaeology magazine: Prieto grew up close to Pampa la Cruz, in the modern-day community of Huanchaco, a coastal resort town about six miles north of Trujillo, Peru’s third-largest city. Huanchaco is home to the last fishing community in South America that relies on traditional techniques that hark back to pre-Columbian times. These fishermen still use watercraft made of reeds that differ little from those used hundreds, even thousands, of years ago. [Source: Eric A. Powell, Archaeology magazine, March-April 2020]

“In 2010, Prieto began digging at Gramalote, a prehistoric fishing village with an ancient population of some 300 people that dates to between 1500 and 1200 B.C. Gramalote is just a mile and a half south of Pampa la Cruz, and was occupied at the same time as Menocucho and Caballo Muerto, two larger sites in the nearby Moche River Valley, where hundreds of people lived amid monumental pyramids decorated with murals and adorned with columns. Ceremonial events that drew people from the entire Moche Valley were held at these sites. Previously, archaeologists had proposed that Gramalote was a peripheral community where people focused on providing food, mainly shellfish, to the inhabitants of Menocucho and Caballo Muerto.

dogfish (a kind of shark) in a second-century BCE mosaic from a Roman house in PompeiiPhoto by Naples National Archaeological Museum

“Prieto’s excavations soon showed there was much more to life in Gramalote than gathering shellfish. He and his team discovered that the villagers practiced a range of crafts, including basketry and bone carving, and processed large amounts of red pigment. Prieto also collected more than 21,000 fish and 12,000 sea mammal bones, suggesting that deep-sea fishing was just as important as collecting shellfish. Most surprisingly, 16,000 of the fish bones Prieto unearthed were shark vertebras. Then, as now, sharks are not easy prey for humans, but hunting these predators appeared to be one of the main occupations of the people of Gramalote and one of their major sources of meat. These dangerous animals were also symbolically important. Some of the shark vertabras had been polished and drilled as if for use in necklaces, and whole sharks had been placed as offerings under some of the Gramalote dwellings. In a number of burials, Prieto discovered caches of shark teeth, which may have accompanied particularly skilled shark hunters to the afterlife. In once such burial, Prieto also found a reed model of a boat not substantially different from the ones used by the fishermen of Huanchaco today.

A complete skeleton of a 6-foot-long shark was unearthed at Pampa la Cruz.Prieto believes that the burials beneath the platform are also an expression of a ceremonial tradition that flourished in the small fishing settlements of the northern Peruvian coast for thousands of years. There, the extremely cold waters of the Humboldt Current create the conditions for a rich, diverse fishery that, even today, is one of the world’s most bountiful. Evidence unearthed by Prieto at Pampa la Cruz and elsewhere shows that rituals based on deep-sea fishing were vital to the people who plied the waters off this stretch of coastline. They were so crucial, Prieto thinks, that they were eventually incorporated into the belief system of the greater Moche world, and help explain how this religious and political system spread throughout northern Peru.

Deep-Sea Fishing, Shark Worship and Shark Priests

Eric A. Powell wrote in Archaeology magazine: A cache of shark teeth was one of several found at the site of Gramalote. The people of Gramalote also seemed perfectly capable of worshipping on their own, without having to make the journey to Menocucho or Caballo Muerto. Prieto unearthed the remains of a small temple complex in Gramalote that bore no resemblance to the grander ritual compounds in the nearby valley. The villagers probably did supply their inland neighbors with food, but they also lived in a self-sufficient community with its own traditions. Prieto notes that when the Spaniards reached the area in the sixteenth century, they found that people in fishing communities spoke a different language from those living just a few miles inland. Perhaps such independence had its roots in an ancient sense of community, centered in part around feats of deep-sea fishing. [Source: Eric A. Powell, Archaeology magazine, March-April 2020]

“Gramalote was abandoned around 1200 B.C., after which archaeologists have an almost 1,000-year gap in their knowledge of the area. Prieto thinks the settlement was moved to a site where Huanchaco’s colonial-era church now stands, making excavation impossible. By 400 B.C., however, a community of some 1,000 people is thought to have been living at Pampa la Cruz. Prieto’s excavations there have revealed that these people did not eat nearly as much shark meat as their ancestors in Gramalote had, but that fishing for sharks still seemed to be symbolically important.

site of the ancient Peru shark hunters

Prieto found that the burial of one high-status man at Pampa la Cruz contained six metal fishhooks, including the largest example ever unearthed in Peru. These hooks are so big that they would only have been used to hunt large fish such as sharks. The grave also contained two cobblestones once wrapped in cotton strings that were likely fishing lines, as well as two flat bone tools that resemble implements still used today by fishermen in Huanchaco to repair nets. This high-status man, whom Prieto dubbed the “fisher chief,” was buried with all the equipment necessary to hunt sharks. But Prieto unearthed almost no shark remains at Pampa la Cruz, where people seem to have consumed mainly small to medium-size fish and shellfish. He concluded that the fisher chief probably had a ceremonial right or ritual responsibility to catch sharks, rather than an obligation to provide shark meat to the community. As an analogy, Prieto points to some indigenous groups in the Amazon whose chiefs must still hunt jaguars, that ecosystem’s top predator, in order to show they are fit to rule. Perhaps, reasons Prieto, the fishing community of Pampa la Cruz retained a memory that their ancestors in Gramalote had been brave shark hunters, and sought leaders who could hunt and kill the ocean’s most dangerous predator.

Moche-Era Shark Hunters

Powell wrote in Archaeology magazine: “Between A.D. 500 and 550, Pampa la Cruz became part of the Moche world. The Moche thrived in northern Peru from about A.D. 200 to 800. Moche artisans produced a rich array of murals, pottery, and other artifacts depicting humans engaged in ceremonies and interacting with mythic creatures. Thanks to these vivid depictions and the lavish burials of priests and nobles, archaeologists can reconstruct how the Moche may have conducted rituals at major sites such as the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon.

The main village was demolished and moved 100 meters closer to the ocean. The people of Pampa la Cruz began to be buried with Moche pottery and other artifacts, such as textiles, depicting humans rendered in the Moche style. Prieto found that the storage areas of houses dating to this period were significantly smaller than those in the dwellings that preceded them. Perhaps the villagers were now compelled to supply food to people living some distance away. “It’s possible that once they were part of the Moche world, they had to exchange or barter most of their food at the urban center around the pyramids,” says Prieto. The process of becoming part of the Moche world was a complex one, and, notes Prieto, probably not entirely peaceful. Many human burials his team has unearthed at Pampa la Cruz dating to this period show evidence of violent trauma. [Source: Eric A. Powell, Archaeology magazine, March-April 2020]

Prieto was convinced that even as the people of Pampa la Cruz fell under the influence of the Moche belief system, deep-sea fishing likely retained its important symbolic role. He was particularly interested in the fact that a common motif on Moche pottery features extravagantly costumed fishermen hunting large sea beasts from reed boats. The animals are sometimes identifiable as sharks or other deep-sea fish, but they are also depicted as chimeras, fantastic creatures that combine features in improbable and frequently bizarre combinations, such as beasts with shark jaws and human limbs. Often the boats themselves seem to be alive, and are portrayed aiding the fishermen in hunting down marine prey. In these depictions, the reed boats piloted by the mythic fishermen resemble the ones used in Huanchaco today.

Shark Burials in Ancient Peru

Moche depiction of fish hunters

Powell wrote: In the summer of 2019, he and his team excavated a stone-and-mudbrick platform on a bluff overlooking the Pacific coast at a site known as Pampa la Cruz. Such platforms, which served as temples, were often built by ancient Peruvians, including the Moche, to be used by priests and other important members of the community as stages on which to perform religious rites.

Prieto soon discovered that this particular platform, rising a modest six feet high, was decorated with a typical Moche painting that depicts three warriors leading two naked captives. It also concealed evidence of a unique ritual event. Beneath the platform, Prieto unearthed the burials of more than a dozen deep-sea creatures, including nine sharks. The skeletons of two sunfish and two yellowfin tuna, uncommon species on the Peruvian coast, were also identified, as well as two Kogia whales, which are some of the rarest toothed whales in the world. All the animals seemed to have been purposely buried by the people of Pampa la Cruz, who constructed the platform sometime between A.D. 500 and 750. “We were very surprised,” says Prieto. “Perhaps there were offerings of sea animals elsewhere in South America, but we haven’t found them yet.” [Source: Eric A. Powell, Archaeology magazine, March-April 2020]

Harvard University archaeologist Jeffrey Quilter, who visited Pampa la Cruz when the burials were being unearthed, said the site reflect the widely shared appreciation by indigenous Americans of animals as important, powerful creatures.” He notes that different animals were sometimes believed to be masters of different planes of reality, including the underworld, which was often imagined as an aquatic realm. “The Pampa la Cruz case is interesting because the animals are oceanic,” says Quilter. “So it seems that the temple had a special role as an intercessor or expression of the forces of the deep.”

Shark Rituals in Ancient Peru

Eric A. Powell wrote in Archaeology magazine: As he studied images at Pampa la Cruz, Prieto concluded that the people responsible for the spread of the Moche belief system incorporated the symbolism of deep-sea hunting that was so important to the people of small fishing communities such as Pampa la Cruz into their own religion. Perhaps, thought Prieto, these already-ancient beliefs tied to hunting sharks and deep-sea chimeras were included in the Moche ritual system to bolster the appeal of the new ideology to the people of the coast. Thus, the shark-hunting traditions of the Gramalote villagers may have lived on in Moche art, and perhaps even in Moche rituals themselves. “It was clear for me the Moche took this tradition and included it as part of their religious discourse,” says Prieto. “It was one way to legitimize incorporating the fishing villages into their territory.” [Source: Eric A. Powell, Archaeology magazine, March-April 2020]

shark teeth from ancient Peru laid out in a ritualistic way

“Prieto’s theory received dramatic support when he unearthed the burials of the sharks and other deep-sea creatures beneath Pampa la Cruz’s Moche-era platform. Whether it was local people or Moche priests who were responsible for these burials, the people who interred the animals honored ancient rites associated with deep-sea fishing. The fish and whales were even arranged in such a way that they all appeared to be swimming east, as if migrating inland from the waters of the Pacific toward the Moche Valley. Whoever managed to hunt the animals had to have been highly skilled. Similarly, the people who placed the fish and whales below the platform also clearly had intimate knowledge of their behavior. “We don’t know for certain who buried the sea creatures,” says Prieto. “But the fact that they were included in the construction of such an important building is probably the result of a negotiation among higher-ups such as Moche priests and local leaders who had their own tradition that went back to the days of Gramalote.”

A complete 8-foot-long Kogia whale skeleton unearthed at Pampa la Cruz.The Pampa la Cruz burial ground will contribute to archaeologists’ understanding of the ideology and rituals of the Moche world. “Previous generations of scholars envisioned the Moche spreading their ideology through warfare,” says Denver Museum of Nature & Science archaeologist Michele Koons. “There was this vision of the Moche conquering river valley after river valley and bringing their religion with them. But that’s changing.” New excavations in northern Peru are showing that the Moche world, which was once thought of as unified, was actually much more diverse. It now seems that Moche traditions were not spread strictly through violent coercion as had been thought, but also through a complex series of encounters between the Moche and local people who had their own belief systems. These beliefs weren’t extinguished, but instead found new expressions within the Moche tradition. “This isn’t a story about conquest,” says Koons. “It’s about adaptation.”

The Moche world came to an end sometime around A.D. 800, after which the village of Pampa la Cruz was abandoned. People belonging to the later Chimu culture used the site as a cemetery, where they interred hundreds of ritually sacrificed children (“Peruvian Mass Sacrifice”), but it’s possible the beliefs associated with the fisher chiefs didn’t die out completely. Today, the traditional fishermen of Huanchaco avidly follow Prieto’s excavations. After learning about the discovery of a cemetery that included oceanic creatures, they reminded him that, in their grandparents’ time, fishermen would always offer the biggest fish in their catch to God. They would do this as an act of thanks for the abundance of the ocean’s bounty, perhaps an echo of the beliefs that led the people of Pampa la Cruz to bury sharks beneath their temple.

Ancient Aboriginal Tiger Shark Stories and Language

The Aboriginal Yanyuwa people believe Australia’s Gulf of Carpentaria was created by the tiger shark and developed a language that goes along with this belief. Georgina Kenyon of the BBC wrote: The tiger shark was having a really bad day. Other sharks and fish were picking on him and he was fed up. After fighting them, he met up with the hammerhead shark and some stingrays at Vanderlin Rocks in the waters of Australia’s Gulf of Carpentaria to speak of their woes before they set out to find their own places to call home. This forms one of the oldest stories in the world, the tiger shark dreaming. The ‘dreaming’ is what Aboriginal people call their more than 40,000-year-old history and mythology; in this case, the dreaming describes how the Gulf of Carpentaria and rivers were created by the tiger shark. The story has been passed down by word of mouth through generations of the Aboriginal Yanyuwa people, who call themselves ‘li-antha wirriyara’ or ‘people of the salt water’. [Source: Georgina Kenyon, BBC, May 1, 2018]

The tiger shark’s journey was challenging as he forged his way through the Gulf, creating the water holes and rivers in the landscape. He was turned away by many other angry animals who did not want him to live with them. A wallaby even hurled rocks at him when he asked if he could stay with her. But as he swam, the dreaming story explains, the shark helped create the waters of the Gulf of Carpentaria that we see today. “Tiger sharks are very important in our dreaming,” said Aboriginal elder Graham Friday, who is a sea ranger here and one of the few remaining speakers of Yanyuwa language. Some people here still believe the tiger shark is their ancestor.

The Aboriginal Yanyuwa people developed a language to go along with their belief about tiger sharks. In their ‘tiger shark language’, they have many words for the sea and shark. Georgina Kenyon of the BBC wrote: Yanyuwa is a beautiful, poetic language. Its rhythms sound like the sea it so perfectly describes. The language precisely expresses a sense of place, often describing complex natural phenomenon in a single word, showing how attuned the Aboriginal people are to nature. [Source: Georgina Kenyon, BBC, May 1, 2018]

Sharks, Melville, Hemingway and Roosevelt

Hemingway or Hemingway look-alike with a big shark

In whaling stories and accounts by whalers sharks followed ships and fed on garbage, whale offal and carcasses that were thrown overboard. Sailors regarded them as harbingers of death when they showed up for no explainable reason. In “Moby Dick”,Herman Melville warned “they have a ravenous finger in the pie...It is deemed but wise to look sharp to them.” He call sharks “pale ravener of horrible meat” with a “saw-pit of mouth,” “ghastly flank” and “Gorgonian head.”

Ernest Hemingway and Franklin Roosevelt were avid shark fishermen. Hemingway liked to shoot them with a Thompson machine gun. Franklin Roosevelt hosted parties son his boat in which bait was laid out for sharks and guests took turns shooting at them with a revolver.

Hemingway cursed sharks that stole his catches and burned thousands of them on the beach. But sometimes he could not help but step back and admire them. Describing a mako shark breaking the surface in “The Old man and the Sea” he wrote, “Everything about him was beautiful except his jaws...He is not a scavenger nor just a moving appetite...he is beautiful and noble and knows no fear of anything.”

Image Sources: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); Wikimedia Commons. Hook from Live Science, Neanderthal pictures from Atlas Obscura, ancient Peru from Natural History magazine

Text Sources: Shark Files, Florida Museum of Natural History, Global Shark Attack File (GSAF), National Geographic, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Smithsonian magazine, Natural History magazine, Discover magazine, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, AFP, Lonely Planet Guides and various books and other publications.

Last Updated May 2023

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