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Published on October 13th, 2010 | by Yellow Magpie


The Strange And Complex Behaviour Of The Great White Shark

Although the traditional, erroneous image of a Great White Shark suggests a creature that has little regard for social order and hierarchy the truth is vastly different.

Individual Personalities

Great White Sharks display unique personalities when it comes to observable behaviour. At the broad end of the spectrum some appear to be cautious and recessive while others are aggressive and assertive. Different types of behaviour has been noted by many people who study this shark species in many different areas of the world.

The most obvious explanation for these different behaviours is that sharks have unique personalities.

Great White Shark Photo By Terry Goss

Thoughtful Thinkers

The stereotypical image of Great White Sharks is a large animal with razor-teeth trusting itself at anything that has a pulse. This myth has been recently shattered. After countless hours of observing Great White Sharks a new model of behaviour has been drawn. This is of the thinking shark.

Great Whites are now said to be evaluators who like to circle around objects that they are interested in. They slowly and cautiously move around the object, keeping a large distance away. Often their curiosity overwhelms them as they check out the object.

This natural curiosity also makes the sharks highly vulnerable to poachers and being killed.

Varied Hunters

Great White Sharks are varied hunters and have many different strategies for catching their prey. Some like to attack from below in the well-documented manner while others like to circle their prey and suddenly close in. While others still, will ignore the prey and then attack it while it is off-guard.

This myriad of different hunting styles makes the Great White Shark a truly formidable hunter.

Social Animals

With Great White Sharks there is the dominant idea of the solitary animal, no doubt perpetuated by the film, Jaws. Nevertheless, White Sharks often live in groups of two with strict hierarchies being adhered to.

The sharks communicate with one another through body language and short, sharp flicks of their tails.

Great White Shark

When it comes to feeding, White Sharks have protocols that are followed. Rather than fighting with one another the dominant shark, or sharks, keep the others in line by using their body to emphasis their position of seniority.

It is now widely accepted that they can be up to ten or more sharks feeding on carcasses at any one time. Yet, these communal meals are conducted in a civilised manner without any conflict.

This remarkable animal continues to engage human curiosity. The more we look into the Great White’s eyes, the more we see that there is a lot more to comprehend.

Recommended Amazon Reading

Check out Yellow Magpie’s Great White Shark: Adapted Athlete, Great White Shark: Supreme Senses and Great White Shark: The Reality Of Its Jaws for further insight into this complicated creature.

Great White Shark by Richard Ellis and John McCosker is a fascinating book on the subject of White Sharks. It comprehensively explores the shark’s biology and why it should be conserved.

At present, the Great White Shark is one of the most endangered species on the planet and this is completely unnecessary.
For people living in Ireland or the United Kingdom you can access Great White Shark here.
For those living in Canada you can obtain Great White Shark from here.
For Germany: Great White Shark.
For France: Great White Shark.

About the Author

5 Responses to The Strange And Complex Behaviour Of The Great White Shark

  1. binny says:

    i think u should have stuff on behaviour

  2. Yellow Magpie says:

    Thanks for your comment, Binny. We shall bear that in mind.

  3. Pingback: Great White Shark: The Reality Of Its Jaws

  4. Pingback: Great White Shark: Supreme Senses

  5. Pingback: Great White Shark: Adapted Athlete

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