2 â€˘ August 12 - August 18, 2012 â€˘ THE NEWS SUN â€˘ THE HERALD REPUBLICAN â€˘ THE STAR
Denizens of the deep Feeding frenzy: Discovery's Shark Week dominates summer othing conjures up the image of sheer terror quite like that of a shark. Although you're more likely to be killed by a falling coconut, that primal fear is a part of us, as demonstrated by an entire genre of shark attack movies. A healthy dose of fear is necessary when dealing with one of nature's top predators, but over the years the tide has turned in favor of more scientific study of these prolific hunters for a more balanced view. Enter Shark Week. A mainstay of summer programming since its debut, the week-long programming event is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and is the longest-running cable television event in the country. Shark fin-atics of all kinds tune in each year for the captivating footage and up-todate information on the very latest breakthroughs in shark science. The event kicks off on Sunday, Aug. 12, with a series of documentaries, including "Air Jaws Apocalypse." Picking up where the chum trail left
off from last year's Emmy-nominated "Ultimate Air Jaws," Chris Fallows and Jeff Kurr continue their quest to study the incredible breaching behavior of great white sharks off of Seal Island, South Africa. The duo focuses on a 14footer named Colossus, who dominates everything in his path. Team members risks their lives to get new angles and closeups, and they discover dozens of great whites in one place feeding on pretty much anything smaller than them. On Monday, Aug. 13, the MythBusters dive head first into the action. Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman tackle tall tales about sharks in the broadcast of "MythBusters' Jawsome Shark Special." They debunk common misconceptions about the graceful predators by counting down the top 25 myths about sharks and reveal the No. 1 myth of all time. The "MythBusters" crew then brings back to life the largest shark to roam Earth's oceans in "Sharkzilla," a new addition this year to the Shark Week lineup. Kari Byron, Grant Imahara and Tori Belleci set out to build as life-like a model of the beast as they can, complete with hydraulic
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jaws that can rip through a car door like a can of tuna. The gargantuan megalodon grew to lengths in excess of 50 feet and could weigh more than 100,000 pounds. With teeth six inches long and jaws capable of swallowing a grown human whole, you can breathe a sigh of relief that this monstrous fish went extinct between one and two million years ago. While the megalodon may be the biggest shark to have ever lived, the hungry rogue from the classic megahit "Jaws" is certainly the most famous. The iconic movie made waves when it hit theaters in 1975 and "How Jaws Changed the World" (airing Tuesday, Aug. 14) explores its impact -not only in terms of redefining the power of film but in bringing sharks into the public consciousness. Unfortunately, this led to mass killings of great whites and other large sharks and nearly drove several species to extinction. On the flip side, the raised awareness and scientific inquiry into sharks has meant more conservation and protection in order to reverse some of that damage. Based on his novel of the same name, Peter Benchley co-wrote the script for "Jaws" and has since dedicated much of his life to protecting sharks and educating people about them, even acting as host for Shark Week back in 1994. There are plenty of additional jawdropping specials throughout the week that will entertain, educate and sometimes terrify as Shark Week aims to tear down the image of vengeful $
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A great white shark, as seen during Discoveryâ€™s Shark Week villain to assemble a more complete view of these predators, and how vital they are to our ecosystem. Sadly, shark populations have been decimated by the global fin trade and it's estimated that up to 73 million sharks a year are killed for their fins. Studies have found that continued overfishing of this top predator in the U.S. may lead to a boom in the population of cownose rays, which are prime prey for sharks. The rays feed on shellfish, but with no sharks to keep the rays in check, the shellfish population could plummet. Conservation efforts -- such as the Shark Conservation Act, which bans shark finning in U.S. waters, and the
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development of shark sanctuaries -have saved species like the great white from the brink of extinction.
Andrew Sawyer TV Media
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