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Eugenie Clark, Marine Biologist Known as 'Shark Lady,' Dies at 92

By    |   Thursday, 26 February 2015 06:48 PM

Eugenie Clark, the marine biologist whose love for sharks gave her the nickname "Shark Lady," died Wednesday at age 92.

Clark was still diving in her 90s. Her friend and colleague, National Geographic photographer David Doubilet, told the magazine, "She never outgrew this absolute fascination of looking and seeing and observing under water. Even when I was a younger man and she was older, I couldn't keep up with her. She moved with a kind of liquid speed underwater."

Clark, who died of non-smoking-related lung cancer, was a pioneer in her field when she began researching sharks in the 1950s, NG sad.

“Clark discovered the first effective shark repellent in secretions from a flatfish called Moses sole that lives in the Red Sea,” the magazine wrote. “She ventured into undersea caverns off Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula to find 'sleeping sharks' suspended in the water, a discovery that upended scientists' belief that sharks had to keep moving to breathe.”

"Her contributions were astounding," Doubilet told NG.

Clark’s knowledge and adventures at and under the sea were numerous. The Washington Post reported that she once grabbed the skin under a pregnant whale shark’s dorsal fin and rode it for some time, grabbing her air tank as it slid from her back.

“It was incredible,” Clark told the Post in a 2008 interview, recalling how she lost sight of her colleagues. “When I finally came up, I could barely see the boat, I was so far away.”

Clark also demonstrated in the 1950s that sharks were intelligent, the first scientific evidence of that fact, the Post said.

Stanford University marine science professor Barbara Block told the Post that Clark was one of her mentors. “She was a life force very much at the top of her academic game — shark biologist, explorer, diver, academic, professor and leader,” Block wrote in an email to the paper. “We called her the shark lady.”

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Eugenie Clark, the marine biologist whose love for sharks gave her the nickname "Shark Lady," died Wednesday at age 92.
eugenie clark, shark lady, dies
Thursday, 26 February 2015 06:48 PM
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