Donald's Reviews > The Devil's Teeth: A True Story of Obsession and Survival Among America's Great White Sharks

The Devil's Teeth by Susan Casey
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Aug 25, 2009

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Read in August, 2009

This cool book I saw at the library--the title says it all.

A reporter develops an obsession with great white sharks and spends time in the Farallon Islands off of Sand Francisco. I never knew this, but the largest of the Great Whites come here every Sept-Nov to feast on seals. Not a few sharks, but so many that if you fall in the water,you have a better than 50:50 chance that one of them will have you over for dinner, and I don't mean appetizers and white wine. On the Islands live some robust biologists who study the sharks by taking a little boat they've named "The Dinner Plate" to where seals have been freshly killed. There, in the bloody water, the scientists observe the sharks feeding, tag them, take photographs, and hope to arrive home safely. So far, they have, because the sharks like seals more than metal.

The author does a good job discussing her obsession and the incredible people who risk their lives studying Great Whites so big. The Farallon sharks are twice the size of their more famous cousins in the Great Barrier Reef and off South Africa. I'm talking 18 to >20 feet long and as wide and deep as a bus. Literally.

I think we all are fascinated with White Sharks. But, they turn out not to be nasty killers at first sight, but rather, take their good time scoping out their potential prey. Then they dive and come up from below at 40 miles per hour, breaching in the process at the time of the kill. That's why you can't see them coming. They also hunt by SIGHT and not smell. This one surprised me.

The Devil's Teeth was a good fast read, without the hype one usually gets related to sharks, nor the gore. But it made me go to youtube and watch a few seals meet their maker in the Farralons. Awesome and thought provoking.
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