Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Shark vs. Hippo

Fun fact of the day from my shark book: Bull sharks have been known to kill adult hippopotamuses in African rivers.

Bull sharks can easily swim from salt to fresh water and back, though it seems the bull shark pees 20x more in fresh water. And researchers in Nicaragua have seen this shark jump like a salmon. Yikes! I'll stick with hippo close encounters, thanks very much.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Scary, scary stuff! Just when I got over my fear of swimming in anything that isn't chlorinated, I read this. I'm never swimming again. Not so much as a toe in a bathtub, in fact, I may even give up DRINKING water! You can never be too safe, right? Yeah, lots of problems with sharks in Ottawa, Canada.

I have an idea for a new research project for you: something soft and cuddly, like socks. Give it some thought . . .

Marie Javins said...

On the plus side, the same book says that you are 30 times more likely to be struck by lightning than attacked by a shark. I think this means we are all way more likely to win lotto than to be attacked by a shark. You can decrease your odds of shark attacks further by wearing shark-i-cide, which I understand can be synthesized from the excretions of small African antelopes called "dik-diks."

scarfalonius said...

Well, yes, but the real question remains - Why do bull sharks pee 20x more in fresh water than in seawater?

Which of course is just a preamble to the even more important, burning question - 'How do you measure something like that?'

Ed Ward said...

One of the great frustrations of my life is half a live concert by Leo Kottke, whose between-songs patter is legendary. On it he says "There are fresh water and salt water fish. One kind pisses all the time. The other never pisses at all. Which is which? You'll have to stick around for the second half of the show to find out."

Like I said, this is half a concert.