Researchers use geographic profiling to study great white shark hunting/feeding behavior

Don’t let the title throw you. While there has been a recent study published in the Journal of Zoology about applying geographic profiling to great white shark hunting behavior, the point of this post is to illustrate how the media sensationalizes headlines whenever sharks (and great white sharks, in particular) are involved in a news story.

I am not a serial killer
I am not a serial killer


The AP story which focuses on this study appeared on June 21 with the title Great white sharks hunt just like Hannibal Lecter. The story goes on to compare the hunting tactics of great white sharks to that of human serial killers. One of the researchers involved in the study, Neil Hammerschlag, makes a point of differentiating between sharks and serial killers by noting that the motive of the sharks is to “eat and survive.” However, Hammerschlag’s statement don’t deter the article from perpetuating the idea that sharks and depraved serial killers share preferences for attacking victims who are “young and alone” and “attacking when the lights were low.” The whole point of the study seems lost in the AP article due to the author’s attempts to turn the white shark into Hannibal Lecter. The AP article also showed up in media outlets throughout the world with alternate headlines, as did similar stories about the Journal of Zoology article. Below are some of the more over-the-top ones…

Headlines like this do nothing but perpetuate negative stereotypes against the great white shark. Comparing sharks to Jeffrey Dahmer, Hannibal Lecter, and Jack the Ripper due to the fact that they follow specific hunting patterns is nothing short of absurd. The sad part is that Hammerschlagel comes across as conservationist-minded in the article, but his statements are overshadowed with all the serial killer, psychopath, terror, criminal, and stalker references.

By the way, kittens eat food and go to bathroom, as do serial killers. I wonder how long until we see the headline…Fluffy is Ted Bundy with fur!

One comment

  1. I am very upset that people still in this modern day and age, and characteristic of a so called “maturing” society, believe that sharks, especially the mysterious and beautiful Great White, are profiled as serial killers with no mind and no heart. They are simply doing what you and I do; to only kill to survive, as unlike we humans, the shark does not kill for greed, prejudice, and or hate.
    I have worshipped the Great White shark all of my liife, and have formally taught the truth loitering exclusively behind mans’ comon fear of being eaten alive, and because of my teavhings many former studnets have become better equipped. My many books help top bring this crucial understanding to light, especially in corrolation to the harks fear.
    The Great White is sacred to me and to my people, and i have worn their beautiful teeth around my neck since I was a baby; in fact I have tem tattooed allover my body. Soon to die fomr teraminall illness, I still fiercely, but humbly proclaim that this glorious animal, protector of the ancient ocean which harbors our greatest intellect, will always be; and will continue to be here long after man has plummited off oth e earth. God had long requested for the Great White to be the very ruler and protector of this warery place. I have called this testement simply;
    “The oceans of wisdom have long relinquished their greatest glory-the GREAT WHITE SHARK.”
    Lama Milkweed White Shark…Augustine PhD
    author, religious leader
    of the Canadian Crees/
    the Shark Spirit has spoken!!!

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