My visit with the Shark Doc

by Robert Langreth

Chunks of dead barracuda float around me in the water. From a nearby boat, marine biologist Samuel "Doc" Gruber slices up another one and throws in more pieces.

The barracuda is shark bait. Were off the coast of Miami, and Gruber is trying to show me what sharks are really like.

"There!" Gruber points a hundred feet away.

"Reef sharks!" Through my diving mask, I see the shadows of three distant sharks. But the sharks are afraid of us. They don't come near the bait or me.

"They're not hungry because they ate already", Gruber explains.

He should know. Gruber is the leading shark expert in the United States, and has discovered many amazing facts about sharks.

Did you know that:

I came to see the shark doc to get the inside scoop onthese scary predators.

The biggest myth about sharks" Gruber says, is that they are crazed eating machines.

Wrong. "Sharks eat only when they are hungry."

Another myth is that sharks like to eat people. The truth: You're more likely to be struck by lightning than be attacked by a shark. When sharks do bite a human, its usually because they mistook him or her for a fish.

"If sharks really wanted to eat people, they could", Gruber notes. But most times they dont. Whew!

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