The Thoughtful Animal

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Figure 1: Great White Shark, Carcharodon carcharias.

I saw this clip on the news last night, but when I went to look for the video online, it hadn’t been uploaded yet. How awesome to find it this morning, already blogged by my friends at LAist!

This video was caught at Will Rogers State Beach in Malibu. Great whites are known to frequent these waters during the summer, so this isn’t much of a surprise, but how cool to see the video of them breaching like that!!? At least one of the sharks caught on video has been confirmed by experts at the local non-profit Shark Research Committee to be a great white.

(jump behind the fold for the video)

Comments

  1. #1 gelf
    June 4, 2010

    As I am very interested in your other post today, but have not yet extrapolated my feelings on said post or its comments, I will comment on the one that has been ignored. I lovelove these type of sightings! I have seen similar behavior in dolphins & I am always mesmerized. Probably the way THEY feel about humans who dive in their stomping grounds. I did not catch whether there are more great whites in the area than previously noticed, but the sea creatures seem to be behaving in unusual patterns lately (past couple or three years). I hope they are not finding their environment to be uninhabitable and looking elsewhere for their food, but I’m guessing we’ll see more of that in the future. I need to get my butt in gear & go squirt some Dawn on sea dwelling creatures who need it.

  2. #2 CS Shelton
    June 5, 2010

    The news report said it was natural predatory behavior, but what are the breaching sharks accomplishing with this exactly? I can’t tell.

  3. #3 Jason G. Goldman
    June 5, 2010

    It could also be part of play. In lots of animals, play behaviors are “borrowed” from other already existing parts of the behavioral repertoire e.g. from hunting, foraging, or mating.

  4. #4 CS Shelton
    June 6, 2010

    Playful sharks? Now I’m scared.

  5. #5 Passerby
    June 7, 2010

    Gods! Please tell me you really didn’t know that this is a typical hunting maneuver (fast upward strike from deep below) for the Great White stalking fast swimming (and flying) surface prey.

    The species presence in the protected waters of the Fallon Islands of the southern CA coast is well-known. *Not* finding them would be reason for alarm.

    Nonetheless, cool video.

  6. #6 CS Shelton
    June 8, 2010

    Yes, I know great whites attack from below- but attacking nothing? Are they just going through the motions and hoping something will jump in their way? Practicing?

  7. #7 Jason G. Goldman
    June 9, 2010

    It’s possible there was something they were hunting that we just can’t see in the video, or even just a shadow. But, assuming there was nothing there, my money is on play. (see my previous comment)

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