Friday, November 7, 2008

MONSTER QUEST: Jaws in Illinois

History Channel - Original Air Date: October 29, 2008

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the river, sharks swim upstream from the sea -- sometimes hundreds of miles from the nearest ocean. In 2007, at Simmesport, LA, 160 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, fishermen caught a five-foot-long bull shark.  They caught a half dozen smaller sharks that same day, and swear a ten-footer got away.  Bull sharks can live in fresh water, unlike most of their kin, and they have been known to attack and kill people.  They are suspected of the series of killings in New Jersey at the turn of the 20th century. Monsterquest goes looking foor bull sharks in the inland waterways of Louisiana. They get some bites, but no sharks to show for it.  In the waters of the Saint Lawrence River, MQ divers go looking for Greenland sharks.  Diving at night, the team sees an apparent shark on the sonar, but can't get their cameras on it.  During the day, though, they find one, its skin traced with a spiderweb of scars.  Since Greenland sharks can live 200 years (!), the 12-toof shark has potentially had a long time to bet beaten up.  The dive confirms that huge sharks are living in the Saint Lawrence River, close to shore.  Greenland sharks are both scavenger and predator; are they a threat to humans?  A week after the show finishes shooting another 6-footer is caught in Louisiana.  Clearly the sharks are there, but whether this is a new phenominon or has gone unnoted previously, remains in question.

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