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Biologists Searching for Causes of Shark Attacks [VIDEO]

A marine biologist looks for answers to a fatal shark attack in Hawaii.

Shark attacks cause a primal reaction in people. Maybe it’s the fact that we as humans are so ill-equipped to deal with problems in such an alien environment as the ocean. Maybe it’s the fear of swimming without knowing what could be lurking below (thanks, “Jaws”).

But some people, like marine biologist Cheryl King, instead probe for answers by doing what? Diving right into the same waters where a German tourist was attacked.

The incident referred to in the video occurred in August of 2013, when a 20-year-old German tourist was attacked at Palauea/White Rock Beach in Maui, Hawaii. The victim’s right arm was severed during the attack, which occurred about 50 yards from shore. The woman later passed away in the hospital.

The predator believed to be responsible for the shark attack was a tiger shark. These sharks can grow to 25 feet in length, and are thought to be responsible for many of the shark attacks in the Maui area. In fact, they are second only to great whites in attacks against humans. Their jaws are very strong and able to crack through shells of sea turtles and clams.

Though sharks have very keen senses, the attack occurred in choppy water when the visibility may have been low. As a result, the shark may not have known what exactly it was attacking.

In almost all cases of shark attacks, experts believe that the human victims were simply mistaken for natural prey species, in this case, a sea turtle. Looking up against the water surface, it’s easy to see how a person with flippers could resemble a sea turtle’s movements, particularly if they were using an inner tube.

It definitely makes you think twice about doing that in tiger shark waters.

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Biologists Searching for Causes of Shark Attacks [VIDEO]