Predatory Behavior of Great White Sharks

see Martin, R. A. in References

Predatory Ethogram

Great white shark hunting off the coast of South Africa has been extensively studied, and observations have lead to the generation of a predatory ethogram containing four phases: Initial Strike, Secondary Pursuit, Prey Capture, and Feeding. Each phase comprises a set of behaviors which can be utilized by the shark during the hunt to maximize success as circumstances change.

Why do Great White Sharks Breach?

Breaching occurs when a shark surges out of the water, completely clearing its body from the surface. White sharks breach during the initial strike as a method of surprising and overpowering their prey, fur seals. Approaching from below, they are difficult to see, especially for a seal with its head out of the water. A breach assault allows the white shark to build up speed before it contacts the seal with a devastating blow. The breach is meant to incapacitate the seal; attacks of a single breach were responsible for 80% of successful hunts.


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