Great Barracuda - Sphyraena barracuda

Great Barracuda - Sphyraena barracuda

June 3, 2010

Anthropomorphizing Sharks

an·thro·po·mor·phize  [an-thruh-puh-mawr-fahyz]
–verb (used with object), verb (used without object),-phized, -phiz·ing.
to ascribe human form or attributes to (an animal, plant, material object, etc.)

This is unjust. Although the video is interesting, the author does nothing to assuage the fear people have for sharks by superimposing human attributes and assigning misnomers to them. It is all too common and all too sad a practice. Sharks do not look at the world they way we do, they do not share our emotions, so it is unfair to anthropomorphize them. They are not 'mean' or 'angry'. Also, although in some places the egg cases may be called 'devils purses', I find the term denigrating, and they are no more 'menacing' than chicken eggs. This kind of article only serves to spread misinformation. I've written to the editor of and asked that they remove this article from their web site, pointing out that as a 'conservation-minded' company, they should not be spreading misinformation. We'll see what happens...


  1. Jason R6/03/2010

    I've heard to the referred to as both devil and mermaid purses. Agree with your sentiments though. It was a poorly written piece.

  2. Thank you, Jason. I have edited the post to reflect the information you have provided! - Val


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