A superlative study of our planet's dominant predator for millions of years. A major and fully indexed contribution to the preservation of this amazing creature, now much threatened by human activity – with losses from overfishing, pollution, and the destruction of their habitat. Although scientific knowledge of sharks is increasing rapidly, the author shows that there is still much to learn about these complex and elusive animals. For many species, it may already be too late. The book overturns negative and damaging perceptions of sharks. Thoroughly researched, it is written in clear jargon-free language and informs the reader of everything necessary to know about these sophisticated guardians of our oceans.
1. Shark Attack: Controversy, Reality, Response
2. The Way of the Shark Roads: Sharks and Indigenous Societies
3. 'This Strange & Merueylous Fyshe': Sharks and Europeans
4. Fathoming the Shark: Evolution, Classification
5. Shark Biology: Form and Function
6. 'Creatures of Extremes': Description of Sharks, Rays, Skates and Chimaeras
7. 'An Incredibly Beautiful Crop': Shark Exploitation
8. Shark Conservation: Problems, Solutions
9. Sharks and Creativity: Visions of Hunter and Hunted
David Owen taught in primary, secondary and residential environmental education settings before working at Sheffield Hallam University as a teacher educator. He led the primary and early years programme at SHU for seven years before taking up his current role as Head of the Department of Teacher Education. His research has focused on geographical education, e-learning and teacher education course development.
"Owen, a Tasmanian author who has also demystified that island's famous devil, takes a fascinating look at the biology of sharks, from the smallest (the 19-centimeter-long dwarf lanternshark) to the whale shark, the world's largest fish. He also explores the complex relationship between man and shark. Sure, we eat each other, but the body count is horribly lopsided. While sharks attack only a few dozen people each year, the annual shark catch routinely tips the scale in the hundreds of thousands of tons. In large part due to the violent nature of their attacks – which often come literally out of the blue – sharks have long inspired fear and fascination. The 1975 blockbuster Jaws tapped into that primal fear but also demonized great white sharks and, via guilt by association, many other species. Yet, Owen notes, much good came from the film. It inspired scientific interest in sharks and their relatives and spawned shark conservation efforts worldwide. Shark is a captivating portrait of creatures that have too long been unfairly maligned as malevolent, mindless eating machines."
– Science News