Friday, November 09, 2007

How Graceful They Soar through the Sky

Thought I was talking about birds, huh? Nope. Sharks. How many people can say they've seen a shark fly?
Everyone has heard of great white sharks. Fearsome predators of the sea, who are know to have about 3000 teeth at one time. They have an average length of 7 to 20 feet. Although they are found in numerous different places, including Florida, the largest number of great whites can be found around Africa. There is a place, right off the tip of South Africa, where you will find the most unique great white sharks you've ever seen.
In a place called Seal Island, False Bay, South Africa great white sharks can be seen regularly doing a "flying" behavior.
Around this part of Africa, the great white sharks have learned to "fly" out of the water, or breach. It is a hunting behavior. The majority of Great White breachings can be seen from May through October, the height of hunting around South Africa. The great white shark will come from deep in the ocean. When it finds its prey of choice, usually a seal, it will shoot out of the water (at about 35 mph), catching its prey on the way up. The seal never saw it coming. Though there have been reports of humans killed by sharks, there are no reported breaching shark attacks. There was a report of a seal being chased by a great white trying to jump into a boat of marine biologists. The shark bit into the side of the boat, but no one (including seal) was hurt.
Though great white sharks are the most commonly seen breaching, Mako sharks are also capable of flying out of the water. Both of these sharks have been seen soaring out of the water and even doing somersaults in the air.

Posted by: Christine McConville (7)


At 10:43 PM, Blogger PWH said...

I saw a shark do this on the Planet Earth series. This is a interesting behavior, particularly because it is only common to sharks in that area. I wonder how long they have been using this technique.

Posted by: Gina Sciartilli(7)

At 4:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

that's really cool, i wonder if any people in boats have been eaten like that.

Posted by: John Garabedian (7)


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