Smithsonian Shadows Sharks

Thursday, July 23rd, 2020

Jacques Cousteau called the oceanic white-tip shark “the most dangerous of all sharks”, and until recently it was the most numerous large predator on the planet. In two infamous cases during WWII, the troop ship Nova Scotia and the USS Indianapolis, at least 1,000 sailors perished in the jaws of the oceanic white-tip. Survivors painted a picture of a terrible killer that was particularly skillful in hunting at the ocean surface.

But today these animals are on the brink of extinction. How this happened is a natural history detective drama. Surprisingly, we know very little about this shark. Professor Yannis Papastamatiou, who grew up in London, and studied at Southampton University, is using state-of-the-art tracking and recording technology to study them closely. In World’s Most Dangerous Shark (Wednesday 29th, 8pm) he sets out on a quest to uncover the secrets of this rarely seen shark, revealing unique hunting behaviour never before captured on camera.

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