Published: May 13, 2010
Sharks are at the top of the food chain and, among them, white, tiger
and bull sharks are at the very pinnacle. What keeps them at the top is
the focus of a National Geographic show that Assistant Professor Dan
Huber will help film this summer.
Huber heads to Bimini, in the western Bahamas, on May 14 for five days of filming and research.
focus of the show is the predatory ability of tiger and bull sharks,”
said Huber. “They are among the biggest and baddest sharks in the
Huber will join Phil Motta from the University of South
Florida and other Bahamian and U.S. scientists filming the feeding
behaviors and bite force measurements of these sharks. Once back in
Tampa, Huber will work with National Geographic at USF comparing the
bite force measured by the sharks in Bimini with the bite force needed
to crush sea turtle shells. He said tiger sharks are the only ones known
to consume sea turtles with any regularity.
between engineering and biology is what drives Huber to research the
mechanics of these creatures. Sharks and their relatives, rays and
skates, are the only species that rely solely on cartilage for skeletal
support. And yet, sharks are the top predators.
“As I come to a
better understanding of engineering, the more I realize we don’t know
about the skeletal structure of this group,” Huber said.
Huber’s interest in sharks started at an early age. When he was 8 years old, one of his relatives was attacked by a shark.
“He got a good scar and a better story,” Huber joked. “It created a lifelong fascination for me.”
Huber, who has filmed several shows with the Discovery and History channels, did an appearance on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson
and has been published in numerous Popular Science Publications like Smithsonian Magazine
, said this is his first time working with National Geographic.
feels really good to be working with National Geographic,” Huber said.
“It’s been a lifelong goal of mine to work with them in some capacity.”Jamie Pilarczyk, Web Writer
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