Fatal tiger shark attack in New Caledonia erroneously ascribed to great white shark

paper3Published online on 28. April 2015

Fatal tiger shark, Galeocerdo cuvier attack in New Caledonia erroneously ascribed to great white shark, Carcharodon carcharias

Philippe Tirard, Claude Maillaud, Philippe Borsa


To understand the causes and patterns of shark attacks on humans, accurate identification of the shark species involved is necessary. Often, the only reliable evidence for this comes from the characteristics of the wounds exhibited by the victim. The present case report is intended as a reappraisal of the Luengoni, 2007 case (International Shark Attack File no. 4299) where a single shark bite provoked the death of a swimmer by haemorrhagic shock. Our examination of the wounds on the body of the victim, here documented by so-far unpublished photographic evidence, determined that the shark possessed large and homodontous jaws. This demonstrates that the attacker was a tiger shark, not a great white shark as previously published.

Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, In Press Accepted Manuscript, DOI 10.1016/j.jflm.2015.04.011



Note by Shark Year Magazine:

This paper ( Tirard et al. 2015 ) refers to the following publication :

Unprovoked fatal shark attack in Lifou Island (Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia, South Pacific)
by a great white shark, Carcharodon carcharias.
E. Clua, B. Séret
Am J Forensic Med Pathol. 2010 Sep;31(3):281-6. doi: 10.1097/PAF.0b013e3181ec7cb8




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