February 25, 2024

Great White Shark: A small white shark has been spotted for the first time

Great white shark juveniles spotted for the first time

It's impressive even for wildlife filmmaker Carlos Gaona, known to many viewers as “The Malibu Artist.” Its archive contains thousands of hours of footage of shark lives. Gauna was close to the animals and would watch them while they hunted and mated. On July 9, 2023, he was traveling with biologist Philip Stearns of the University of California Riverside off the coast of California, near Santa Barbara, when he spotted an unusual creature in the viewfinder of his drone camera: a small, pure-white shark that was only 1.5 meters long. “It is most likely a newborn great white shark,” as Gauna and Stearns has now reported in the specialized journal «Environmental biology of fish“To report.

“We zoomed in on the images, set them to slow motion, and noticed a white crust that separated from the body while swimming,” Stearns says, according to a UCLA press release. “I think it was a newborn great white shark that had just been released from its fetal shell.” The cub was probably only a few hours old, or a day at most.

If this is true, the video recording is the first of its kind to document a newborn shark species, which is also of scientific importance. “Where great white sharks give birth is one of the great mysteries of shark science,” says Carlos Gaona. “So far, dead great white sharks have only been found in dead pregnant mothers. But never anything like this.” Gaona had already photographed three large pregnant females in the area in the days leading up to the new recording. On the day of the new sighting, one of these animals dived to the bottom. It may have been the mother of the young animal. According to Stearns, his hometown was only about 300 meters from the beach. A clear indication that great white sharks give birth in shallow waters, not far from humans.

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Swimmers don't have to worry too much. Three to seven unprovoked attacks by great white sharks on humans are recorded every year. However, 20% of them end up dying.