Mediterranean white sharks the result of a wrong turn?

"I knew I shoulda taken that left turn at Albuquerque."

A recent LiveScience article suggests that the Mediterranean population of great white sharks may have come into existence as the result of some wayward pregnant white sharks who got lost approximately 450,000 years ago.

Genetic analysis of four Mediterranean white sharks revealed that they are more closely related to white sharks of the Pacific and Indian oceans when compared to white sharks from the Atlantic.

According to the article, extreme climate change could have resulted in abnormal currents which caused the sharks to alter their normal migratory paths while traveling along the east coast of Africa. The theory suggested that currents pushed the female sharks around the tip of Africa and into the Atlantic Ocean where they swam eastward toward birthing grounds and passed through the Strait of Gibraltar into Mediterranean waters.

The article goes on to say that the female sharks tend to stay close to their breeding grounds while male white sharks are more likely to travel across ocean basins, which could explain why the sharks remained in the area.

For more information on this story check out the full article at LiveScience.com.

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