Our most favored house pets, cats and dogs, are also predators. Seals are furry mammals, therefore friendly and cuddly. Sharks are fish, therefore alien and scary, and fish either are enemies or prey. It’s just a form of racism. That’s all it comes down to.
“Loose Seal!” Buster gives this article one thumb up.
I’ll get my club.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a dramatic ‘ripping somebody’s head off and pulling out the entire spinal cord’ image outside of cartoons…
Also, apropos of leopard seals, BoingBoing itself featured a story some time back wherein a leopard seal attempted to teach a wildlife photographer how to hunt penguins, apparently under the sad/adorable delusion that the photographer was some kind of special-needs baby seal.
Filter feeders and seaweed/coral grazers aside, carnivores (including smiley dolphins) make up a much larger proportion of sizeable fish and aquatic mammals than they do of land-dwellers. Watch any of the “bait ball” sequences from Blue Planet or other nature documentaries, where a million herring or anchovies disappear in minutes as everybody including the dive-bombing kittiwakes and terns has a go at them. There’s nothing on the Serengeti that comes close to the scale or methodical completeness of that eating spree
Leopard seals have the reputation of being the most dangerous and nastiest of the bunch. They’re the big cute guys that eat tasty penguins off Antarctica, as opposed to most of the seals that mostly eat fish.
So I should be snuggling sharks too so they don’t feel left out?
Only fur sharks. Those suckers are adorable.
I still like seals better. Never had a shark bodysurf with me or anything like seals do. Sharks only cruise me to see if I’m dinner or not.
Says you - those seals look completely terrifying. There’s something about how small their features are that make them look like a swimming mouth full of death.
I really did not expect to see that photo of the seal decapitating a penguin. I like penguins too much to not feel a bit sick.
Rumor has it some of the small ones can be quite curious (and harmless), but I don’t even have second-hand experience with that.
I was bitten by a small sand shark (or what I think was a sand shark) very close to shore while getting ready to hop onto my surfboard to paddle out. As it latched onto my ankle, I freaked and kicked it away from me and it hauled ass away. Its little teeth didn’t even penetrate my wetsuit and I could only later see the little bite holes by stretching the neoprene at the spot it bit me. I think it was going for my foot and missed, all the while thinking my foot was a fish since most of the rest of my legs and body was covered by the dark wetsuit with a flashy foot moving around.
Otherwise, I’ve mostly been “cruised” by larger sharks like hammerheads and sometimes they’ve come within 15 feet or so of me. I’ve also been bum rushed by a shark (I don’t know which kind) and probably didn’t get attacked only because a wave came and it couldn’t find me in the white water and I got to shore quickly (that was hell on the way to shore dipping my arms into the water to paddle wondering if I was going to pull up a bloody stump). Later that same day, up the beack another surfer wasn’t so lucky and got attacked by what I assume was the same aggressive shark.
Sharks are cool, but I’ll take a dolphins/porpoises or seals over sharks any day.
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