When Euphemisms (however By no means Sharks) Assault

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Shark scientists have admonished the public to call human-shark interactions something other than shark attacks and to prefer less derogatory terms like “shark encounters”. The scientists point out that humans are responsible for shark injuries – when they accidentally step on small sharks that snap back; swim in murky water, dare to get too close.

“A ‘shark attack’ is a story of intent,” said Christopher Pepin-Neff of the University of Sydney to Times reporter Alan Yuhas. “But sharks don’t know what humans are. You don’t know when you are in the boat. You don’t know what a propeller is. It’s not an attack. “

But the terms that are offered as substitutes are more precise and less inflammatory, but have a genteel sound that is reminiscent of top hats and evening gloves of bygone centuries.

A shark incident:

Meanwhile, scientists elsewhere this week released one of the most detailed views of shark intestines yet, using a CT scanner to reveal “the complex internal geography of more than 20 species of shark,” writes Veronique Greenwood. The results, in a stunning 3-D video, show that the spiral-shaped intestines of some sharks behave like a Tesla valve, pulling fluid forward with no moving parts.

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The study also seems to confirm the long-held notion that such complexity helps slow digestion and deprive the prey of most of the calories. Chew on it as you do your part to avoid shark, uh, euphemisms.

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