about diving and undersea medicine for the
non-medical diver, the non-diving physician and the specialist.
The seven principle marine predators
and fatalities are rare, and occur when a diver is mistaken as a food
or intrudes into the creature's territory.
Barracudas are usually found in
warm, tropical regions; some also in
temperate areas. They are swift and powerful, small scaled, slender in
form, with two well-separated dorsal fins, a jutting lower jaw, and a
mouth with many sharp large teeth. Size varies from rather small to as
large as 4-6 feet (1.2-1.8 meters) in the great barracuda (Sphyraena
barracuda) of the Atlantic, Caribbean, and the Pacific.
Barracudas are primarily fish eaters of smaller fishes, such as
anchovies, and grunts. They are good, fighting sporting fishes, and the
smaller ones make good eating. In certain seas, however, lately
they may become impregnated with a toxic substance that produces a form
of poisoning known as ciguatera.
More about barracudas here.
THE MORAY EEL
eels occur in all tropical and subtropical seas. They live in shallow
among reefs and rocks and hide in crevices. They differ from other eels
in having small rounded gill openings and in generally lacking pectoral
fins. Their skin is thick, smooth, and scaleless, while the mouth is
and the jaws are equipped with strong, sharp teeth, which enable them
seize and hold their prey (chiefly other fishes) but also to inflict
wounds on their enemies, including humans. They are apt to attack
only when disturbed, but then they can be quite vicious.
They injure you with their razor
sharp teeth and
powerful jaws that
can lock. Injuries can result in bleeding, severe muscle damage - also
chipped bones. Stop any bleeding, clean wounds thoroughly. Get medical
help to guard against infection.
More about moray
Grouper have several sets of teeth, placed in the mouth to act as
or holding teeth. The fish gulps down its prey using these raspers to
the smaller fish from escaping. The teeth are not used to tear or
as with barracuda or sharks.
The jewfish is a member of the grouper family and some can get
large as 800 pounds, and can easily endanger a human, although I know
no reports. This fish is totally protected in Florida waters.
More about large groupers here.
Sea snakes are air breathers probably descended
from a family of
Australian land snakes. They inhabit the tropical waters of the
and are highly venomous. Thirty-two species have been identified in the
waters about the Barrier Reef in Australia.
More about sea snakes here
This endangered reptile actually is
a danger to underwater
and a number of people are killed and injured each year. It's hide has
a very high commercial value because of its ease of skinning and
of this it is protected.
More about saltwater crocodiles here.
What do you think of first when you think of
sharks? Fearsome, big
teeth, of course. Sharks, however, have many other interesting features
that make them stand out from other denizens of the sea.
More about sharks here.