Which is the Most Frightening Apex Predator: The Great White Shark or Man?
(This post is part of a three part series which will attempt to address our relationship with sharks, why we fear them, how we can save them, and why we should!
Apex Predator- (also known as alpha, super-, or top-level predators) are predators that have virtually no predators of their own, residing at the top of their food chain. Apex predator species are often at the end of long food chains, where they have a crucial role in maintaining the health of ecosystems.
Sharks are in the mind of most human beings to be the ultimate predator. It you ask people what animals they are frightened off, very few off the top of their heads name lions, crocodiles, etc... Sharks are the most frequently mentioned and great white sharks are the most accused and feared. Why this fact is seems to have many factors. Some factors are education/history (except for brief moments in some biology classes, the tales were hear from the past are not positive toward sharks), biology or natural survival instinct (fear of the unknown, the dark, 'monsters' and being eaten alive are all biologically ingrained fears), media (sharks are routinely stereotyped and villianized in most media sources and these sites sometimes actively push humans toward fear and loathing – remember “Jaws”) and control (as human beings we are fascinated and repulsed by things that we cannot control or will not bend to our will.) So, as long as humans have used the sea, sharks and man have had the potential to collide with negative results for either party.
Humans are also an apex predator. We rule the land we inhabit. Other animals may question this fact, but few human beings could disagree with this assessment. We move other animals out of their habitats and take the space for ourselves. Humans mold the land into the image and shape they want for food, transportation, habitation. We move rivers, carve mountains, and sometimes change the entire shape and ecosystem of an area with man made inventions such as a water dam. We kill animals who live in our territories deliberately if they cause us difficulties or annoyance, and unintentionally by our daily activities. Land is our home territory and over the years (with few exceptions) we remind all others living that we are the supreme apex predator.
So this is my opinion... What is yours? Which apex predator do you think is more dangerous... us or them?