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What are great white sharks frightened of ?

Posted on Thursday, 18 April, 2019 | Comment icon 19 comments

Even the great white shark is scared of something. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Hermanus Backpackers
Despite their fearsome reputation, these monster sharks will always try to steer clear of one particular creature.
It's hard to imagine great white sharks being scared of anything at all, but according to a new study, these ferocious ocean-going predators will make a quick exit as soon as any orcas show up.

The discovery was made by researchers who had been investigating encounters between great white sharks, killer whales and elephant seals at Southeast Farallon Island off the coast of San Francisco.

"When confronted by orcas, great white sharks will immediately vacate their preferred hunting ground and will not return for up to a year," said lead author Salvador Jorgensen.
The findings were backed up by GPS data from tagged animals recorded between 2006 and 2013.

Surprisingly, it seemed that elephant seals had the most to gain from the sharks' departure with far fewer of them ending up as shark food once orcas had moved in to any given area.

"We don't typically think about how fear and risk aversion might play a role in shaping where large predators hunt and how that influences ocean ecosystems," said Jorgensen.

"It turns out these risk effects are very strong even for large predators like white sharks."

Source: | Comments (19)

Tags: Shark, Orca

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #10 Posted by pallidin on 19 April, 2019, 17:46
So, I have a question for those more knowledgeable than I: What IS the apex pedator of the ocean? Is it the "killer whale"?
Comment icon #11 Posted by oldrover on 19 April, 2019, 19:20
Yes it is.†
Comment icon #12 Posted by pallidin on 19 April, 2019, 19:22
Dang, I'll skip the orca as my next pet.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Kittens Are Jerks on 15 September, 2020, 21:00
† The killer whale has unseated the great white shark as the ocean's most feared predator, study finds For years, the great white shark has been believed to be the oceanís most feared predator. But when five shark carcasses washed ashore on a beach in South Africaís Western Cape province in 2017, livers chomped from their bodies, a new question loomed in marine researcherís minds ó† could the predator be prey?
Comment icon #14 Posted by Rolltide on 15 September, 2020, 21:32
† † †
Comment icon #15 Posted by HandsomeGorilla on 15 September, 2020, 21:41
Everything in the ocean is and should be afraid of killer whales. They almost p*** me off with how ruthless they are lol
Comment icon #16 Posted by khol on 16 September, 2020, 0:04
Its about respecting them for what they are...same with Great Whites
Comment icon #17 Posted by preacherman76 on 16 September, 2020, 10:41
Such complicated creatures. Beautiful, intelligent, caring, yet ruthless killers all at the same time.†
Comment icon #18 Posted by khol on 16 September, 2020, 12:15
Sounds like your talking about human beings which are far more barbaric then any cetacean
Comment icon #19 Posted by preacherman76 on 16 September, 2020, 14:40
Yes very similar. Maybe thatís why they are so intriguing.†

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