Sharks: The Perfect Predator

Overview

Fascinating, graceful, and powerful, sharks are the sea?s most feared predators, and this new guide sympathetically examines their physiological, anatomical, and behavioral adaptations. Stunning photographs complement the most complete and updated information on the diets and predatory tactics of these ferocious, misunderstood, and endangered animals. Answers are provided to a myriad of questions, such as What predatory tactics do sharks use to catch their prey? Why do some attack humans? and Which animals are ...

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Overview

Fascinating, graceful, and powerful, sharks are the sea’s most feared predators, and this new guide sympathetically examines their physiological, anatomical, and behavioral adaptations. Stunning photographs complement the most complete and updated information on the diets and predatory tactics of these ferocious, misunderstood, and endangered animals. Answers are provided to a myriad of questions, such as What predatory tactics do sharks use to catch their prey? Why do some attack humans? and Which animals are especially vulnerable to shark predation?

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781770095595
  • Publisher: Jacana Media
  • Publication date: 4/1/2009
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Alessandro De Maddalena is the curator of the Italian Great White Shark Data Bank, a member of the Mediterranean Shark Research Group, and president of the Italian Ichthyological Society. He has been a consultant to National Geographic Italia. His articles have appeared in many international wildlife magazines, such as Dive New Zealand, Dive Pacific, Quark, and The World and I. Vittorio Gabriotti is a professional marine wildlife photographer, a scuba diving instructor, and a founding member of the Italian Ichthyological Society. He is the coauthor of an Italian photographic guide to diving in the Lake of Garda. Walter Heim is a marine photographer.

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Table of Contents

Foreword 1

Preface 2

Acknowledgements 4

The author 6

The photographers 8

The shark: portrait of a perfect predator 10

The role of the senses in feeding 24

Mouth and teeth: their form and function 30

The digestive system 42

Rate of food consumption 46

When sharks feed 52

The study of shark feeding biology 56

A varied diet 66

Changes in diet 74

Cannibalism 78

Shark attacks on humans 82

Inedible items and various oddities 92

Prey defences against predators 98

Shark predatory tactics: Introduction 106

Pursuit hunters 108

Stalking hunters 116

Ambush hunters 124

Searching for hidden prey 130

Catching armoured animals 136

Hunting aggregated prey 140

Scavengers 150

Hunting prey out of the water 156

Cooperative hunters 162

Competition 166

An important part of the global food chain 172

Appendix I How to contribute to the study of shark feeding biology 178

Appendix II Classification of sharks cited in the text 181

Bibliography 185

Shark species index 195

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