The "Big Three" sharks that pose the greatest threats to humans are white sharks, tiger sharks and bull sharks, according to the latest shark attack statistics and journal reports of recent shark-caused fatalities.
"Big" in this case also refers to size, helping to explain why these predatory sharks may sometimes not resist attacking humans. White sharks, for example, are the world's largest predatory fish and can grow to over 20 feet in length.
George Burgess, director of the Florida Program for Shark Research and who coined the phrase "Big Three," told Discovery News that white, tiger and bull sharks "are large species that are capable of inflicting serious injuries to a victim, are commonly found in areas where humans enter the water, and have teeth designed to shear rather than hold."
He added, "Realistically, almost any shark in the right size range, roughly six feet or greater, is a potential threat to humans because, even if a bite is not intended as a directed feeding attempt on a human, the power of the jaw and tooth morphology can lead to injury."