Alligators Kill More Victims Than Sharks In U.S.

By  //  November 14, 2014

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ABOVE VIDEO: For 400 million years, sharks have dominated the Earth’s oceans. They have survived 5 planetary mass extinctions to become the top predators of the sea, honed to an evolutionary perfection. But what shark species is the most deadly? And where in the world is it least safe to venture in to the water? Naked Science travelled across the world from Australia to California to find out.

From 1948 to 2005, There Were Nine More Deaths From Alligator Attacks Than Shark Attacks

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Despite the high profile of 2014 shark attacks along the Brevard and east Florida coast, experts say people are more likely to die from a slew of other reasons other than from a shark attack – including lightning strikes, tornadoes, boating accidents and alligator attacks, according to the International Shark Attack File.

In a comparison of shark attacks and fatalities with the American alligator attacks and fatalities in the U.S. from 1948 to 2005, there were nine more deaths from alligator attacks than shark attacks.

In 2013, worldwide there were only 72 total unprovoked shark attacks.

Primarily a fish and shrimp eater, the blacktip shark has been identified as the shark accountable for the majority of the Florida wast coast shark bite incidents.

Usually cases of mistaken identity, also known as “hit and run” attacks, sharks incorrectly perceive the movements of humans as motions of the their normal prey. Upon grabbing, these attackers immediately let go, realizing their error.

Aside from bull and blacktip sharks, tiger sharks and white sharks are also prevalently known for attacking.

In a comparison of shark attacks and fatalities with the American alligator attacks and fatalities in the U.S. from 1948 to 2005, there were nine more deaths from alligator attacks than shark attacks. Tiger sharks, above left, are prevalently known for attacking. (Shutterstock images)

Minor injuries usually occur from these types of attacks.

Aside from bull and blacktip sharks, tiger sharks and white sharks are also prevalently known for attacking. Tiger sharks are coastal species, typically found in the East, while white sharks commonly inhabit waters on the West Coast.

As larger sharks, the bull, white and tiger sharks are known for two other, serious kinds of attacks, the “bump and bite” and the “sneak attack.”

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When a shark brushes or bumps their victim first, circles around then attacks, these are known as bump and bite attacks. A sneak attack, however, comes without warning.

These attacks are the most violent and occur all of a sudden. Both these attacks often result in major injuries and the occasional death.

George H. Burgess

George H. Burgess

“The reality is when you enter the sea, it is a wilderness experience and most people don’t think of it that way,” said George H. Burgess, Director of the Florida Museum of Natural History’s International Shark Attack File.

“We have to accept the risk when we go out and luckily, for us, it’s not as dangerous as we seem to think.”

BELOW INFOGRAPHIC: Shark Attacks: What You Need to know (Infogram). With more than 400 different species of sharks living in the world`s oceans, there are approximately 70 to 100 shark attacks each year.

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