National Geographic : 1968 Feb
(painting, pages 232-4). I am forced to say "about": Here is yet another gap in the body of shark knowledge, and the figure could be wrong by at least 10 either way. Of all the shark species known at present, only a handful can be listed as proven eaters of man. Against some of these there is the incontrovertible evidence of human remains found in stomachs, teeth left in wounds of victims, and eyewitness identification by un impeachable experts. Against others stands the strongest kind of circumstantial evidence, including the characteristics of wounds and the proven presence of the shark species at the scene of attack. Nine Killers Admit No Argument Every list of proven man-eaters agrees on nine sharks. These are the great white, which also bears the name "man-eater"; mako; bull; lemon; tiger; dusky; blue; the largest ham merheads; and the whitetip, a pelagic shark, meaning one that dwells at or near the surface of the open seas away from land. All these sharks have attacked living humans as well as corpses. To the sinister roster, some authorities add the Pacific Ocean gray and the Australian whalers. Several species may share these same names, and some of these may prove to be sharks known under yet other names in dif ferent parts of the world. In addition to the "proven" man-eaters, there is a category of sharks-and the experts don't always agree on the individual species -best characterized as "reasonable suspects." The porbeagle is one, and the sandbar, or 238 brown, is another. So is the silky, named for Real-life Moby Dick, a great white shark matches the fury of fiction's famous whale in a sudden attack off Canada's Cape Breton Island. Seas swamped the splintered dory of two lobstermen; one of them drowned, and the other clung to the wreckage until rescued. Apparently scorning them, the animal swam away to seek a meal elsewhere. The painting re-creates the harrowing experience of John MacLeod, who survived, and John Burns, who died, on a summer morning in 1953. A tooth embedded in the bat tered boat identified the spe cies. The shark's length was estimated at about 12 feet, and its weight probably exceeded 1,000 pounds. Mr. MacLeod still fishes the same North Atlantic waters. Ravenous silky shark charg es diver Donald Nelson. Fran tically, Nelson pushes away the six-foot attacker with one hand and with the other aims his short-handled underwater gun at the shark's head. An instant later the would-be killer swam away to thrash out its own death agony. Photographer Greenberg, swimming with Nelson off Florida, snapped this remark able picture even as he him self desperately maneuvered to avoid attack.