Monday, March 23, 2009

Cookie Cutter Shark Attack!

One of the strangest man vs shark encounters took place on a recent moonless night in the Alenuihaha Channel, Hawaii.

Swimmer Mike Spalding was attacked by this unlikely shark, known for taking "quarter sized bites" from it's victims and ending his long distance swim attempt.

This critter is known as the Cookie Cutter Shark and no this blog post is not an Underwater Onion.

As a shark diving operators we see many Elephant Seals at Isla Guadalupe with round bites all over them - but as far as we know humans are rarely ever on the menu.

Kudos to shark attack blog (yes one exists) Swim at Your Own Risk for the in depth coverage.

4 comments:

bonnie said...

I think the poor Cookie Cutter Shark is suffering from a grave lack of recognition. Perhaps a publicist could help with a more properly, sharkily ominous moniker? Look at that dentition after all - how about the Steel Trap Shark? The Razortooth Shark?

How do you expect to have any street cred when your name starts with "cookie-cutter"?

OK, seriously, though, I was rather fascinated when I saw that in the online edition of the Honolulu Star Bulletin. Never saw these guys mentioned in the mainstream media before & they are really interesting little creatures. I learned about them doing a junior-high-school project that involved some research at the Bishop Museum (on O'ahu). The icthyologist there showed us one of these, explained how it lived & I seem to remember him also mentioning that they knew something was taking these perfectly cookie-shaped chunks out of larger animals for a long time before they actually identified the culprit. Must've been pretty cool to be the one who looked at that set of teeth & said "Aha! Here is the cookie-cutter that matches the cookie-bites!"

Shark Diver said...

I have to agree Bonnie. These little guys get such a poor name rap. Like the Salmon shark in Alaska, thanks for the post!

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