The Maldive Shark - Herman Melville

close up of  great white shark
 

"About the Shark, phlegmatical one, Pale sot of the Maldive sea, the sleek little pilot-fish, azure and slim how alert in attendance be. From the saw-pit of mouth, from his charnel of maw, they have nothing to dread. But liquidly glide on his ghastly flank or before his Gorgonian head: Or lurk in the port of serrated teeth in white triple tiers of glittering gates, and there find a haven when peril's abroad. an asylum in jaws of the Fates! They are friends; and friendly they guide him too prey, yet never partake of the treat -- eyes and brains to the dotard lethargic and dull, pale ravener of horrible meat." - Herman Melville

 

Fact

Evidence for the existence of sharks dates from the Ordovician period, 450–420 million years ago, before land vertebrates existed and before many plants had colonized the continents.[1] Only scales have been recovered from the first sharks and not all paleontologists agree that these are from true sharks, suspecting that these scales are actually those of thelodont agnathans.[9] The oldest generally accepted shark scales are from about 420 million years ago, in the Silurian period.