Don’t let their size fool you. At only two feet, cookiecutter sharks can do serious damage by scooping out flesh with their unique jaws, leaving crater-like wounds. Unlike other sharks, a cookiecutter’s teeth are connected at the bottom in the lower jaw. When feeding, the shark bites its victim and then rotates to remove a plug of flesh, “kind of like using a melon baller,” says George Burgess, director of the International Shark Attack File at the University of Florida.
In a new study, Burgess details the first attack on a live human by a cookiecutter shark. During the March 16, 2009, incident the shark repeatedly attacked a long-distance swimmer attempting to cross the Alenuihaha Channel from Hawaii to Maui.
Full story at Futurity.
(Photo credit: Kristen Grace and John Soward)