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NOVA: Why Sharks Attack

Airs Wednesday, September 3, 2014 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Great White Shark

Explore the science behind the headlines in PBS’ premier science series. With compelling stories and spectacular visuals, NOVA programs demystify science and technology for viewers of all ages and spotlight people involved in scientific pursuits.

"Why Sharks Attack" - In recent years, an unusual spate of deadly shark attacks has gripped Australia, resulting in five deaths in 10 months. At the same time, great white sharks have begun appearing in growing numbers off the beaches of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, not far from the waters where Steven Spielberg filmed "Jaws."

What’s behind the mysterious arrival of this apex predator in an area where it’s rarely been seen for hundreds of years? Are deadly encounters with tourists inevitable?

To separate fact from fear, NOVA teams with leading shark experts in Australia and the United States to uncover the science behind the great white’s hunting instincts. With shark populations plummeting, scientists race to unlock the secrets of these powerful creatures of the deep in their quest to save people — and sharks.

Past episodes of NOVA are available for online viewing. NOVA is on Facebook, and you can follow @novapbs on Twitter.

Why Sharks Attack Preview

Will analyzing the hunting instincts of this endangered predator reduce deadly attacks?