News & Events
White sharks and killer whales: interaction difficulties
- April 26, 2019
- Posted by: Wiley M. Wagner
- Category: Science
In the world of underwater inhabitants, as in any other, has its own hierarchy, which one way or another is explained by fairly simple and logical laws – which, however, can sometimes change and take positions. Thus, a team of oceanologists from the University of California and the Monterey Bay Aquarium today presented their new study on one very unusual case. The fact is that a team of experts gathered a fairly long time series of data on the interaction between white sharks and killer whales in certain regions of the California Bay – they found that sharks often run away from killer whales.
Or rather, they often leave their usual hunting zone when they register the approach of the killer whales. Of course, these results are very surprising, but scientists say that this can be explained by a variety of factors. As for the complex of accumulated scientific knowledge, they were collected in the period from 2006 to 2017 and reflect an almost similar pattern of behavior in white sharks, which, when they come close to the killer whales, retreat from the hunting ground and sometimes may not return to it within a year.
At the same time, at the moment of their refusal to hunt in the places they have chosen, a parallel, positive trend unfolds – scientists notice an average of 40 fewer cases of the killing of elephant seals, which is a favorite delicacy of both killer whales and sharks. At the same time, the killer whales themselves kill the seals in a much lower dynamics compared to the white sharks, which allows them to maintain the oceanic biome in equivalent positions in one way or another, and this cannot but be a positive thing.
It is worth noting that white sharks can be different and exhibit different patterns and behavioral reactions depending on the surrounding events – however, such unusual behavior of white sharks when killer whales appear can not but interest the oceanologists who continue to try new theories in practice, trying to explain unusual shark behavior.