First images of a newborn great white shark captured

A Specimen of a newborn great white sharkor alive was captured in pictures for the first time thanks to a Underwater drone in useor on the California coast. Great white sharks, the largest predatory sharks in the world and with deadliest attacks on peopleit’s hard to imagine how Newborn babies. This is partly because no one has apparently ever seen one in the wild.

Wildlife filmmaker Carlos Gauna and UC Riverside biology graduate student Phillip Sternes searched for sharks near the ocean on July 9, 2023 Saint Barbara, on the central coast of California. That day something exciting appeared in the camera’s viewfinder. Gauna drone. It was a baby shark the likes of which they had never seen before. Great white sharks are gray above and white below. But this shark, which was about 1.70 meters long, was pure white. “We enlarged the images, put them in slow motion and noticed that the white layer disappeared. detach from the body while swimming” Sternes said in a statement: “I believe it was a newborn great white shark that shed its embryonic shell.”

Could help solve the age-old mystery of birth habits

These observations are documented in a New article from the journal Environmental Biology of Fishes. The article also describes the significance of having seen a live newborn great white shark. Gauna is known online as The Malibu Artist. He has spent thousands of hours filming sharks around the world, and his videos of them swimming near beachgoers have millions of views. What he and Sternes observed Could help solve age-old habitual puzzles White deer calving. “The birthplace of great white sharks is one of the holy grails of shark science. No one has ever been able to determine where they were born. “Nobody has ever seen a newborn baby shark alive,” Gauna said. “Dead great white sharks have been found inside deceased pregnant mothers.” But nothing like this.”

“The baby spilled intrauterine milk”

Although the authors of the article acknowledge that the shark’s white coating may have been a skin condition, they do not believe this to be the case. “If we saw this, it is also monumental because such a condition has never been reported in these sharks,” Gauna said. For many reasons, they believe that what they saw was actually a newborn great white shark. First, female great white sharks give birth to live young. Sharks embryonic in the womb They could feed on unfertilized eggs to obtain proteins. Mothers provide additional nutrition to growing baby sharks through “milk” secreted in the uterus. “I think what we saw was that The baby spilled intrauterine milkSternes said.

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A second reason is the presence of large, probably pregnant great white sharks in this location. Gauna had observed them here over the past few years and in the weeks before the observation. “Over the past few days I have filmed three very large sharks that looked pregnant in this particular location. That day, one of them dived and soon after, this pure white shark appeared,” said Gauna. “It is not difficult to find out where the calf came from.” Thirdly, the size and shape of the shark also indicate a newborn. What the two of them observed was thin, short and round.

“In my opinion, that’s how it is probably had a few hours“There are many hypothetical areas, but despite the great interest in these sharks, no one has ever seen a born or newborn calf in the wild,” said Sternes.

“This may well be the first evidence we have of a juvenile in the wild, making it a definitive place for birth.” Many scientists believe that great white sharks are born in areas further from the sea. The fact that this calf was filmed so close to shore (approximately 340 meters from the beach) is significant as it was likely born in shallow water given its age. Great white sharks are considered an internationally endangered species. “Further research is needed to confirm that these waters are indeed a great breeding ground for great white sharks. But if so, we would want lawmakers to step in and protect these waters so great white sharks can continue to thrive,” said Sternes.

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