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article imageGreat White Shark gives photo op

By Paul Wallis     Nov 18, 2007 in World
For whatever reason, Xinhua has found some great shots of a Great White in action. Maybe the editor’s trying to send his dentist a message, perhaps flossing using a seal has some sort of hidden code. This is one pretty photogenic shark.
Great Whites are famous for their aggression, tendency to write books so they can make movies, and biting things in half. They can get publicity anytime they feel like it.
Quality shots, however, are another matter. They don’t like wearing makeup, rarely do portraits, and almost never give interviews.
Bearing this in mind, I started to wonder where Xinhua got these pics. I’ve always found Xinhua a bit less than Cousteau-esque, and I have to say, you’ve seen one “Jaws” cover, you’ve seen them all.
It’d be nice if marine photographers understood that. Because there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of pics of exactly that, a real Great White sticking its head up, mouth open, trying to get attention.
So, I searched Great White Shark images. I got 297,000, of which most are Jaws covers, and very few are anywhere near this standard, after pages of looking.
The Great White is known as Carcharadon Carcharias, and is a member of what could be called the "classic" shark group. Compared to its ancestors, though, it’s positively dainty. The Great White is a relative of the biggest shark to ever live, Carcharadon Megalodon, known to have been 45 feet in length, and able to hold two adult humans in its jaws.
I’m a bit surprised Xinhua didn’t do more with the captions, though. I could see some useful roles for these pictures as policy aids:
1. Possible career change for corrupt bureaucrats.
2. Loan embezzlers swimming festival.
3. Polluters career guide.
4. Reasons for reading contract specifications before exporting.
Odd how these things occur to one…
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