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Jul 13, 2012

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drudown

Given the high number of whales in the area, perhaps it was a ritualistic display of mating behavior that tends to promote inclusive fitness of related individuals. Sexual selection operates at both the phenotypical AND behavioral level. The expression of these behaviors is often observed where there is an abundance of food and, therefore, the predictable arrival of other potential suitors.

By analogy, the "bite and wait" behavior of mature White sharks in the Red Triangle likewise provides a pretext for potential suitors to display their evolutionary fitness to other, sexually receptive suitors in the immediate vicinity. Simply because there is food present does not necessarily mean the White sharks are just "establishing a right to feed", particularly when (1) there is more food in the Red Triangle than arguably any other area; (2) the behavior is not seen in other areas with similar conditions (other than proliferation of sexually mature sharks); and (3), finally, the fact there are so many White sharks drawn to the area of any particular "bite and wait" pinniped kill, tends to show that the White sharks are lingering around for a different reason insofar that it is too many sharks for such a small amount of resources.

Besides. Upon closer inspection, the notion that an 18 foot White shark fears injury from a pinniped seems tenuous at best.

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