Thursday, March 10, 2011

Bastard Costa Rican Wildlife: The Bull Shark

I want to start off this post by saying that the world is in immediate and real danger as a result of shark overfishing. The illegal shark finning trade has decimated the numbers of sharks all over the planet. Love of wildlife aside, this is a horrendous tragedy for the ecosystems that they are a critical part of. These creatures have survived as apex predators since hundreds of millions of years before the dinosaurs were even here. The only true threat to their existence in this entire time has been us. And I consider this a grave dishonor and a mark of shame on our species that we need to make right.

That said, some of them are dicks...

The tiny nation of Costa Rica is home to 5% of all the world's biodiversity, an incredible fact when you consider that the country takes up less than .015% of the world's land mass. So that means 5% of all known species in the entire world are squeezed in a tiny little area less than the size of West Virginia. Pretty impressive, and definitely a legitimate point of patriotism for the native Costa Ricans. However amongst this huge roster of wildlife are some real assholes who give the rest of the animal kingdom a bad name. On this Thursday's installment of Bastard Wildlife we're going to focus on this asshat...

 This is Carcharhinus leucas, or the Bull Shark, as he's known more commonly. This shark is thought to be responsible for more attacks on humans than any other single species of shark on the planet, including the notorious Great White. Their distribution is worldwide throughout all tropical waters, and they have been seen as far north as Illinois when one was discovered in the Mississippi River back in the mid-90s.

The bull shark has a talent no other shark, and a few fish, has in that is fine in either fresh or saltwater. Just to the north of Costa Rica, Nicaragua, there is a huge population of bull sharks living in the enormous Lake Nicaragua where they are known for their frequent attacks on humans. Here in Costa Rica, attacks are quite frequent in the rivers and freshwater marshes to the tune of at least 20 incidents per year. These incidents never make international news because the Costa Rican government classifies all deaths as the result of an animal attack to be "recreational accidents". This little bit of bureaucratic corruption has kept the true numbers of shark attack fatalities from being reported to international environmental monitoring agencies. And coincidentally enough, hasn't affected the tourism dollars coming in....

Whereas most shark attacks are cases of mistaken identity, like the great whites confusing surfers for seals, bull sharks apparently attack out of pure aggression. A study at the University of Miami has shown that bull sharks have a higher concentration of testosterone in their bloodstream than any other vertebrate animal on the planet. This trait assists them when they journey from salt to freshwater, but also makes them raging dickheads to every other animal around them. Below are two videos which show the world renown "expert" of bull sharks, Eric Ritter, and his work with them. The second video pretty much proves my point....



So here we have a world-renowned bull shark expert claiming that these are just simple innocent creatures that are misunderstood. Well they don't seem to be biting him.....oh wait...


 Yeah, so if you ever find your way down here stay the hell out of any body of water. The bull shark is just one piece of bastard wildlife that could ruin your vacation or your life down here. We will do this again next Thursday with another installment of the "Bastard Wildlife of Costa Rica"!

31 comments:

Meghan Moran said...

poor guy got bit because the host didn't warn him there was a shark behind him? informative and fun read as always.

Kingmush said...

I'll keep this in mind if I ever go to Costa Rica. Going to your foreword though, it's sad that shark populations are being decimated though.

Disser2 said...

Uhhh.. that hurts!

Maki said...

God I love wildlife videos, David Attenborough has such a nice voice too :)

Robert Fünf said...

I thought Tiger Sharks attacked the most humans? Although, if the attacks aren't reported then the numbers could be greatly skewered....Or I could just be wrong. Either way, those were some interesting videos.

Matthew C said...

"...some of them are dicks."

I will keep this in mind the next time I'm in CR. I (fortunately) didn't have a run-in with any of these beasts when I was last down south.

Keep up the informative posts, sir!

Megan said...

i so did not realize costa rica housed 5%! amazing!

i really don't want to encounter a bull shark however LOL!

i enjoyed this post :-) have an awesome day ;-)

mac-and-me said...

scary

Alphabeta said...

Haha.
"That said, some of them are dicks".

ed said...

sharks are cool, as long as they dont try to eat me

Astronomy Pirate said...

As scary as sharks are, aren't attacks not as high as people make them out to be? I'm pretty sure that I saw that falling coconuts kill more people then sharks a year.

Paranormal Explorer said...

All I can say about them is...BASTARDS!!! lol

thatguy said...

Oh dear gosh. That is crazy. I almost stepped on a stingray once in shallow water, that could have been pretty terrible. haha. I'll keep this in mind when I'm traveling.

The Angry Lurker said...

Recreational accidents, that's one way of putting it, good post, especially the videos.

amBored said...

sharks are beast :3 +followed

Barney said...

Sharks are cool, i'm just intensely scared of them!

Shutterbug said...

I've heard shark fin soup is tasty! :)

Questions said...

Sharks are cool.

A Hermit said...

I still like them even if they do eat people

Something Concupiscible said...

I would say "that poor guy" but he was wading in water with sharks. Stupid!

Justin testing said...

I used to be terrified of swimming in large pools of water because of sharks (it might have to do with watching jaws when I was 7) but nowadays.. I just keep out of water in general.

Hot New Music Today said...

Shark pops are going down?? I didn't know that.

Rylai said...

ouch! ill think twice before goin to costa rica to swim

Shelby Fox said...

Sharks freak the crap out of me. There is literally nothing I could do if I was swimming near one. I just have to hope that he doesn't think I'm tasty looking.

Scary stuff

Merlyy said...

Awesome shark!

My heart shaped blog. said...

I have a serious shark phobia which has led to a fascination with them, so naturally I read up on all the facts about sharks and where in the world they are, and I'd have to agree about the Bull shark! Pretty nasty. Still though, the abolition of a species because of human selfishness is something I never want to see! It's really sad how people think they are above animals, or they don't care because the animals can't talk. They still have a right to live.

Spike said...

sharks are awesome

Patti D. said...

Ok, so if you ever go to costa rica, don't bring a swimsuit unless you stay in a swimming pool.

Chris said...

Bull sharks actually attacked more humans than any other sharks, because of their tendency to swim near shores.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

LOL its not only in Costa Rica, they live all around the world in tropical waters like he says! Scaaryy! I went to Costa Rica once and I loved it! Didnt see any sharkies :P