Stockton students came face-to-face with a sand tiger shark (well, sort of). The toothy smile appeared on a computer monitor while they were capturing underwater footage with a remotely operated vehicle (ROV).
Maria Berezin, a 2013 Biology graduate who is now at The Academy of Natural Sciences, posted a video to YouTube and explained, “The Tiger Shark was at the Gloria Wreck and was just cruising along looking for dinner and checking out the ROV.” According to National Geographic, “Sand sharks, also known as sand tigers and gray nurse sharks, have a deceivingly ferocious look. They are large-bodied and display a mouthful of sharp teeth that protrude in all directions, even when the mouth is shut. Despite this, they are a docile, non-aggressive species, known to attack humans only when bothered first.”
Check out Stockton’s ROV footage
Depending on where you live, you may have a greater chance of being struck by lightning or drowning in a rip current than being fatally attacked by a shark. Dr. Mark Sullivan, associate professor of Marine Science, looks at these statistics with students in his course called “Sharks” to debunk the many misconceptions about the fascinating species. Students who took Sullivan’s “Fisheries in Crisis” course were so interested in sharks that the course evolved into a new course called “Sharks,” which covers their evolution, biology, conservation and representation in the media. To learn more about shark attacks, Sullivan recommends the Florida Museum of Natural History’s International Shark Attack File, which is the longest running database on shark attacks and the only globally-comprehensive, scientific shark attack database in the world.