A newborn great white shark has been spotted in the wild for the first time, and the discovery may help solve a long-standing mystery about the endangered species, Live Science reports.
The shark prey was photographed off the coast of California on July 9, 2023, and was unlike any previously documented great white shark.
The newborn cub was discovered by nature filmmaker Carlos Juana and UCLA biologist Philip Stearns. They noted that the 1.5-metre-long shark was slender and had short, rounded fins, characteristics typically seen in mature shark embryos. It was completely white. The note is Environmental biology of fish It was documented in a study published in the journal on January 29.
great white sharks (Carcharodon carcarias) is the largest predatory shark in the world, as adults can reach a length of 6.4 metres. The researchers believe that the lifespan of the brood observed was only a few hours, and a maximum of one day. This unique sighting was made using a drone, which could help answer one of the biggest mysteries surrounding great white sharks. One of the holy grails of shark science is where white sharks are born. No one has ever been able to pinpoint where they were born, and no one has ever seen a newborn white shark alive, Gauna says. A baby white shark has been found dead inside a dead pregnant mother before, but this has never been seen before.
Upon closer inspection, they noticed that the fry were covered in a white, film-like substance that had fallen off while swimming. Great white sharks typically have varying shades on their bodies — gray on the back and white below — but the authors believe the baby shark was still completely white because the pregnant female white shark produces a milky fluid (called “breast milk”) to feed the fish. Embryo . . Stearns believes what they saw was the baby shark “leaking” the milk in its uterus attached to its body. However, the researchers note that this may also be due to an unknown skin condition.
The potential newborn was spotted about 305 meters from the beach. Large, clearly pregnant females have been seen at this location before, meaning they may be giving birth in this area as well. But there are scientists who believe that white sharks give birth far from the shore.
To protect this species, it is important to know where white sharks are born, because they are threatened with extinction.
Stearns said more research is needed to confirm that these waters are indeed a breeding ground for eggs. But if so, they want lawmakers to protect those waters to help sharks survive.
(Source: Live Science: https://www.livescience.com/)