Nature & Environment
Baby great white shark caught on camera for the first time ever
By T.K. Randall
February 5, 2024 · 1 comment
A still image from the footage (see video below). Image Credit: Carlos Gauna / The Malibu Artist
Where great white sharks give birth has long remained one of the most enduring mysteries in shark science.
We've all seen pictures and videos of great white sharks - the ferocious predatory fish that served as the basis for the titular monster in Steven Spielberg's legendary horror movie Jaws
Despite being a household name, however, there is a great deal we still don't know about these ancient predators. In particular, we know next to nothing about their birthing process to the extent that nobody has even seen a baby great white shark in the wild, let alone captured one on film.
Now, though, in what is being hailed as a world first, wildlife filmmaker Carlos Gauna and UC Riverside biology doctoral student Phillip Sternes have successfully filmed what is believed to be a juvenile great white shark in the waters off Santa Barbara on California's central coast.
The animal immediately stood out to them as it was pure white and only 5ft long.
"We enlarged the images, put them in slow motion, and realized the white layer was being shed from the body as it was swimming," said Sternes.
"I believe it was a newborn white shark shedding its embryonic layer."
The discovery could finally help to solve some of the longstanding mysteries of great white shark births.
"Where white sharks give birth is one of the holy grails of shark science," said Gauna.
"No one has ever been able to pinpoint where they are born, nor has anyone seen a newborn baby shark alive. There have been dead white sharks found inside deceased pregnant mothers."
"But nothing like this."
Source: UC Riverside News
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