Beyond the Book: Background information when reading The Devil's Teeth

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The Devil's Teeth

A True Story of Survival and Obsession Among America's Great White Sharks

by Susan Casey

The Devil's Teeth by Susan Casey
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  • First Published:
    Jun 2005, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2006, 304 pages

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Did you know?....

  • Great Whites have about 300 teeth at any given time, arranged in multiple rows. According to the National Parks Conservation Association they can shed up to 50,000 teeth in a lifetime (hence sharks teeth are the most widely found fossil).
  • Humans don't taste good to sharks - even the fattest of us aren't fat enough for a shark's taste buds. Seals are their meal of choice, preferably baby seals which are 50% fat. This is why most shark attacks are on surfers (whose boards resemble the shape of a seal when seen from below). So, if you must surf in water where sharks are known to congregate (which is pretty much anywhere one finds seals) consider using an old fashioned long thin board!
  • Sharks can grow to 20 feet and 5,000 lbs/2,500 kgs.
  • About six people are killed by sharks every year. Some 50,000 people die of snake bites. Elephants kill 500 people a year.
  • From 1945 to 1970 (when nuclear dumping at sea was prohibited), a 365 square mile area around the Farallon Islands served as the USA's primary nuclear waste dumping ground. An estimated 47,500 barrels of radioactive debris from nuclear labs such as Lawrence Livermore were dumped in the area. Ships irradiated in the Bikini Atoll nuclear bomb tests of the 1940's and '50's were sunk off the islands (including the aircraft carrier Independence), along with numerous undocumented materials. The extent of contamination in the area has not yet been fully investigated.

Visit the Farallones's website

This article was originally published in July 2005, and has been updated for the May 2006 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

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