First Time Stalking Prey the Great White Sharks
Great White Shark is one of top level predator
Great white sharks fitted with cameras on their dorsal fins have been filmed for the first time stalking prey in dense kelp forests long thought to be no-go zones for the top-level predators.
The thrilling, is Great white sharks eye views show the massive carnivores maneuvering effortlessly thought thick kelp fronds suspended in the water like giant bean stalks.
Suddenly one shark — off the coast of South Africa — spots several Cape fur seals, and the chase is on.
“The Great white sharks drastically increased its activity when it saw the seals, and all sharks raised activity in the presence of kelp,” Oliver Jewell, a graduate student at Murdoch University in Western Australia and lead author of a study in Biology Letters, told AFP.
Great whites sharks which can grow up to six meters (20 feet) long and weigh more than 2,500 kilos (5,500 pounds) — gather along the coast of South Africa in winter to feed on seals that congregate on rock formations at the water’s edge.
To execute an “open-water ambush,” previous research has shown, the sharks close in on colonies at dawn or dusk, swimming in deep waters below their unsuspecting prey.
Invisible to the seals in the dim light, the sharks scan from below for a silhouette.
Zeroing in on a victim, a great white “charges up to grab the seal at the surface and breaches clear of the water,” Jewell said.
Near Dyer island, where Jewell and his colleagues conducted their field research in 2014, this kind of attack appears to occur less frequently.
One reason, they speculated, may be the region’s thick kelp forests, long thought to be a natural barrier to sharks and a refuge for seals avoiding their razor-sharp teeth.
To find out if that was true, Jewell and his team fitted eight great whites with high-resolution motion sensor tags — the equivalent of underwater Fitbits — with in-built cameras.
“We attract the Great white sharks using a line baited with a tuna head or a seal-shaped decoy, and then — when a shark closes in for a look — we use a pole to clamp the tag to the dorsal fin,” Jewell explained.
Mysterious behavior about Great white sharks
“At times, we would have to spend many hours at sea, perched over the side of a boat to deploy these tags,” added Taylor Ch apple, a professor at Stanford University and team leader.
The Great white sharks were designed to detach after a couple of days, and rise to the surface where they were picked up.
All researchers were amazed by the footage. Because of the Great white sharks.
Not only did the wide-bodied sharks venture into the kelp beds, they clearly were on the hunt when they did.
While the object of unrelenting fascination, very little is known about the behaviour of great white sharks.
“We are really only scratching the surface with this study,” said co-author Salvador Jorgensen, a senior research scientist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in central California.
“In the future, we hope these cameras will be used to study the sharks’ mysterious behaviour in the open ocean where they dive repeatedly to great depths.”