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Environmental Conditions Associated With Shark Attacks Against Humans: A Case Report About Territoriality

Rolland, Marcel MSc*; De Melo, Eduardo Henriques PhD*; Vieira, Élvio Luís Ramos MSc*; De Oliveira, Maria Da Conceição Andrade MSc*; De França Caldas, Arnaldo Jr PhD

The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology: September 2012 - Volume 33 - Issue 3 - p 265–267
doi: 10.1097/PAF.0b013e3182186f85
Case Reports

This article describes the autopsy findings of a victim of a shark attack that took place off the coast of Pernambuco, Brazil. The victim was rescued and immediately taken to a nearby hospital but did not survive, even though the lapse of time between the attack and verification of death did not exceed 15 minutes. The presence of a single, large, contused and incised, semiarched wound with a serrated aspect was decisive in elucidating the event. Thus, this study discusses aspects related to the aggressor species, to the autopsy, to the type of wound, and to the causes that have led to a significant increase in this type of event in the area. It was concluded that the lesion was produced while the victim was still alive and that it was the cause of death.

From the *Faculty of Dentistry, University of Pernambuco; and †Federal University of Pernambuco and State University of Pernambuco, Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil.

Manuscript received October 24, 2010; accepted December 21, 2010.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Reprints: Arnaldo de França Caldas, Jr, PhD, Estrada de Aldeia, Km 13, Privê Portal de Aldeia, Aldeia, Camaragibe, Pernambuco, Brasil. E-mail:

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.