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Welcome to five consecutive calendar days dedicated to programming about everyone's favorite cartilaginous fishes: the sharks!


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Producer, Writer, Creator, Host:
Emily Graslie

Producer, Editor, Camera, Archive:
Tom McNamara

Theme music:
Michael Aranda

Created By:
Hank Green

Production Assistant:
Katie Kirby

Special thanks to David Shiffman (@whysharksmatter) for his help, support, advice, and fun facts about sharks!
Additional thanks to Joe Hanson (itsokaytobesmart) and the folks at PBS Digital Studios for helping to put this great series together. :)

Filmed on Location and Supported by:
The Field Museum in Chicago, IL
(http://www.fieldmuseum.org)

Video archive provided by the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration): http://www.noaa.gov/

Mating nudibranch image provided by Leonard Clifford, Creative Commons (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nudibranchs_mating.jpg)

Hey Evan Liao, Kelleen Browning, Martina Šafusová, and Seth Bergenholtz—watch out for those human biters if you're ever in New York... we wouldn't want to lose any of our awesome translators!
[INTRO THEME]

For the next few episodes here on the Brain Scoop, we're devoting our programming to everybody's favorite cartilaginous fishes: the sharks! 

Why sharks? Well, sharks historically have received a lot of media attention by networks who aren't always inclined to show their best side; that is their species diversity, ecological importance, and looming threats to their population and distribution.

Sharks are easy to sensationalize and to depict as fearsome, bloodthirsty, and maniacal killers out to consume everything in sight.

That's not to say they're the most cuddly creatures out in the ocean, that award goes to the Nudibranchs. But, compared to the number of times attention is given to shark attacks versus the attention given to their conservation needs and you'll see what I mean.

And frankly, shark attacks are exceedingly rare and largely improbable compared to more statistically likely threats. You are TEN TIMES more likely to be bitten by another person in New York than you are to ever be attacked by a shark.

When you start comparing human fatalities caused by other bizarre events, you can figure that  toppling vending machines, pigs, lightning strikes, and coconuts randomly falling from trees cause more injury and deaths per year than attacks by sharks.

Sharks and shark-like predators have dominated at the top of the aquatic food chain for the last 420,000,000 years, and they've survived every major known mass extinction event in our world's history.

They've been on our planet three times longer than the dinosaurs reigned, but their time might be coming to an early and completely avoidable end.

This fight enduring incredible meteoric impacts and severe climate fluctuations, the sharks biggest threat today is caused by humans.

Overfishing, environmental contaminants, and habitat destruction pose a risks to entire oceanic ecosystems. Remove these apex predators and others will take their place, but not without upsetting the finely balanced food chain, allowing for other predators with more select diets to create holes and habitats, the consequences of which we may not be able to judge for years to come.

But, the good news is that we can change, and it starts with appreciating these animals and their unique placement within our oceans.

So, stay tuned to see more of our five consecutive calander days focusing on predatory cartilaginous fishes because its definitely not [EXPLETIVE] week.

[END THEME AND CREDITS]

It still has brains on it...