White Shark Predatory Behavior

at Seal Island

Polaris Attack Movie

At right is a classic Polaris Attack, in which the shark launches itself vertically out of the water and grasps the seal while in mid-air.  Note that as the pool of seal blood spreads, the shark uses an exaggerated swimming stroke.  This suggests that it is compensating for added load, such as would occur if it were performing a Subsurface Carry, probably accompanied by Lateral Head-Shaking.  The attack concludes with a purposeful Surface Grab.

This sequence represents a single predation event.  It was shot by University of Rhode Island marine biology student Dan Wieczorek, who participated in ReefQuest's 2000 White Shark Expedition, and is used here with his kind permission.

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ReefQuest Centre for Shark Research
Text and illustrations R. Aidan Martin
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