August 22, 2012

Shark Attack

August is a good month for Sharks. It's Shark Week on the Discovery Channel and although I don't watch much TV, it's still a good week to learn about Sharks.  Sharks have been roaming the oceans for at hundreds of millions of years and their skeletons are made entirely of cartilage. An ancient animal and a fierce predator that survived the dinosaurs, swimming in the deep ocean.
I made this ETSY Treasury as a tribute to the Shark Attack

The Great White Shark is the most iconic shark in imagery and the media. Yet, there have been only 64 fatal great white shark attacks throughout nearly 500 years of recorded history. The movie JAWS  (1975) was one of the scariest movies ever made, and it sure made me afraid of sharks when I watched it as a kid. Yet, there is a kind of fascination in all the carnage that makes us humans feel we are not at the top of the food chain. Why do we like sharks so much?

So, for my nephew Dylan's 1st Birthday, I made him these toy sharks. Toothy, but cute. And hopefully not too scary! A happy Shark family. Maybe he will like Sharks when he is older...

I painted the sharks myself with acrylics, markers and a gloss finish. I got the shark family blanks from ClickityClack on ETSY, Ron and Phyllis McIntyre make some really neat pine cutouts to use as supplies for making your own decorated wooded toys! I'v already bought some mushrooms (go figure) and trees. 

Did you know the word "SHARK" comes from the Mayan word "XOC"? As a Yucatec Maya speaker, I heard this while studying in Mexico, but here is a good article  by marine biologist Al Dove detailing the etymology which comes from the conquest of the Americas in the 1500's. 
In Australia, they eat shark as fish n' chips and call it "flake". 

Happy Shark Week and Happy Birthday Dylan!