VIA – PAWNATION
By Kelli Bender Jun 27th 2013
Watch out! Great white sharks have taken to the sky. Okay, they aren’t flying around with laser beams attached to their heads, but these predators are getting some serious air. According to Daily Mail, a photographer captured pictures of a great white launching itself 8 feet above the water.
Peter Verhoog witnessed the shocking stunt in False Bay, South Africa, where great whites are known to take to the air to secure meals. Here these stunning hunters will surge into the sky to nab fast-moving fur seals for dinner.
“The sight of a great white hunting is unbelievable,” said Verhoog. “The immense power is incredible, and makes you feel humble. During the hunt, the shark swims just above the sea floor, following the group of seals at speed. ‘When they have chosen their prey, mostly a slower or younger individual, they change their direction from horizontal to vertical, and swim straight up, so fast that they ‘jump’ out of the water.”
While movies like “Jaws” make us think these sharks are finely tuned hunting machines, in reality the animals often miss. It usually take several tries before one of these beasts successfully clamps down on a seal.
Great whites appear in control of the ocean, but this species is vulnerable. Humans pose more of a risk to these animals than they do to us. Due to overfishing for their fins, the great white’s numbers are dwindling, which is a bad sign for the ocean’s ecosystem.
“Great white sharks are the most powerful sharks, and play an essential role in the health of our oceans,” Verhoog shared with Daily Mail. “They keep the stocks of seals limited, and therefore protect fish stocks.”
Hopefully these photos show that, while fearsome, these magnificent sharks are worth saving.
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