Plunge the ocean depths with renowned filmmaker and shark expert Michael deGruy as he takes you to the underwater realm of sharks! You'll swim terrifyingly close to see these efficient predators in action, and watch in fear as deGruy reenacts a shark attack that cost him part of an arm fourteen years earlier. You'll also discover the incredible physical and behavioral diversity of the shark family, from the 7 inch dwarf dog shark to the over 50 foot whale shark. Witness the unusual feeding behavior of the reef whitetip shark and learn why angel sharks don't always live up to their names. Through spectacular animation, enter a shark's body to learn how it hones in on its prey using its unique sense of electro-reception. And join in the discovery of a gigantic deep water species known as "Megamouth", with the first ever close-up footage. Your SHARK ENCOUNTERS will leave you with a newfound respect and admiration for one of nature's most successful predators.
A departure from the more traditional travelogue-with-carnage format, this National Geographic documentary features a personally involved narrator, photographer Michael DeGruy, who begins by showing the scar where a shark bit the top of his forearm off 13 years before. Viewers see DeGruy capturing a variety of sharks with his underwater video camera as they--and their relatives the rays--mate, lay eggs, or give birth (depending on the variety) and eat a lot, sometimes even each other. Computer-generated images explain a shark's electrical-field system, which help it find unseen prey, while DeGruy shows baby hammerheads using these directional antennae to root out fish sleeping beneath the sand. Later, a biologist sticks his hand (protected by a plastic tube) down a pregnant shark's mouth to check out the contents of her stomach. There's even a little "Mack the Knife" playing in the background at one point. With the exception of footage at the end of tiger sharks taking down baby albatrosses as they learn to fly, this 48-minute video is unusually free of gore, which--along with the kid-enticing subject matter--make this a good pick for children, as well as adults. --Kimberly Heinrichs