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Sharks Are Closer to Beaches than You Think

A new study is giving new meaning to the phrase “this city would eat you alive.” Scientists from the University of Miami say sharks are not avoiding the local shoreline. Instead, these predators are spending plenty of time quite close to the sights and sounds of the city.

On a global scale, the world’s coastlines are urbanizing at a rapid rate. So how is that impacting local aquatic life? Researchers decided to investigate by tracking the movements of sharks around the Miami shoreline. Considering the loud noises, chemicals, and bright lights, the research team fully expected the sharks to avoid South Beach like a bad habit. That’s not what they saw.

Researcher Neil Hammerschlag said, “Since other studies have shown that land predators are urban avoiders, we expected sharks to be too. We were surprised to find that the sharks spent so much time near the lights and sounds of the busy city, often close to shore, no matter the time of day.”

Plenty of animals, like pigeons or raccoons, thrive in cities. Meanwhile, “urban adaptors” spend some time in urban areas, but still largely rely on the great outdoors. On the other end of the spectrum, we find most land-based predators like wolves. These animals, called “urban avoiders,” want nothing to do with civilization.

Study authors once thought that sharks are urban avoiders, but ultimately concluded they act much more like urban adaptors. Sharks are closer to the beach than you might think.

Possible Preaching Angle:

Satan, the roaring lion, is also closer than you might think. He constantly prowls looking for the unwary to devour (1 Pet. 5:8) and we need to be aware of his schemes (2 Cor. 2:11).

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