A video shot off Gansbaii, South Africa of a white shark bumping a cage, after charging a hang bait, has been making the rounds in the (largely tabloid) media today. Some of the more creative news outlets have referred to the shark in the video as “trying to bite through steel bars of diving cage” and “charging the cameraman.” However, the behavior seen in the video does not appear to document anything beyond the shark going after a bait in close proximity to the cage and then bumping the cage after the bait was pulled away. The white shark does get briefly “tangled” with the bars of the cage, but eventually swims off without further incident.
White sharks do not have the ability to swim backwards, so when they are charging a bait momentum will often cause them to continue in the same direction, even if the bait is pulled away from them. Additionally, when attempting to bite prey, white sharks will often roll their eyes backward as a protective measure, rendering them temporarily blind, which can also contribute to collisions if bait is close to cage. The behavior exhibited in this video seems consistent with a shark merely going for a hang bait and subsequently bumping into the cage as a result.
The Australian Museum recently received a new intact goblin shark (Mitsukurina owstoni) specimen. The specimen is that of a young male and measures 1.26m in length. The shark was caught off Eden, New South Wales in water that was “several hundred meters deep.” This marks the fourth goblin shark in the museum’s Ichthyology Collection.
The goblin shark is a deep-water species that is rarely encountered by humans. It is known for its rather unconventional appearance, which includes pink skin, a flattened snout, and a jaw that can extend forward to capture prey. Adult goblin sharks are thought to typically reach lengths between 3-4m. Though, a specimen caught Gulf of Mexico in 2000 was estimated to be between 5.4 and 6.2m.
Samsung is promoting it’s head-mounted Gear VR display with some 360-degree footage of great white shark diving off Port Lincoln, Australia. Head-mounted displays like the Gear VR and Occulus Rift offer viewers an immersive experience that can simulate a completely different environment.
I shot some similar white shark footage using the Kolor Abyss 360 rig at Isla de Guadalupe, Mexico, last September. This footage should be compatible with both the Samsung Gear VR and Occulus. If you don’t have a head-mounted display, you can still take advantage of the 360-degree effect, using your mouse to click and drag to change the angle.
Vimeo user Edwar Herreño recently added a video documenting six killer whales (Orcinus orca) hunting a tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier) off Cocos Island. The orcas appear to use a team effort to huntand appear and then drown the shark in the video. The video description says that the orcas fed on the shark after killing it.
The latest episode of the PBS digital short series “It’s Okay To Be Smart” focuses on the important that sharks play in the environment and ponders the question of what would happen if there were no more sharks. During the video a counter representing an estimated number of sharks killed runs to give the viewer an idea of the rate at which sharks are being killed off. For a relatively quick watch, the video does a decent job at summarizing the value that sharks have in the world.