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Aug 27, 2013

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drudown

Ever wanted to talk to a migrating White shark to learn more about their dietary shift to generalist feeder? I have. After all, I was just "confused" by the Bigfoot Special about the Ghost Ship going into (I think) a jungle after Megalodon and the, uh, lost underwater City of Gold. Or whatever aired first on Shark Week.

So, good news, I got to talk to a migrating White shark as I began to weep- not long after I was in an Airplane crash off of Perth... under a veil of sleep.

drudown: "Good evening. I have just a couple of questions for you. May we proceed with my final rites, Mr. White?"

Mr. White: "Can I eat this stewardess first, please? After all, it is not polite to talk with your mouth full."

drudown: "I understand. I try to dispassionately accept this dietary pattern as a function of your flippin' ecological niche. Er, no pun intended. Please eat...her. We didn't even have an in flight movie and I think it is- yep- floating by."

Mr. White: "Thanks. You are a scholar and a gentleman, drudown."

drudown: "Yet, you, Mr. White, are no gentleman when maritime disaster abounds.

Not at all. How many men did you eat during WWII?"

Mr. White: "Whoa, whoa, whoa. I think you mean: White Tip sharks. My god.

(stilted silence)

Must I answer? War may be, er, hell for you... but it was kind of like Luby's Cafeteria for us pelagic sharks. Ducks in row, swimming slow, before you fall asleep we start...well, it probably was those White Tip sharks...that, you know, come to say 'hi' from below... they have less discretion than that Garbage Can of Sea brother of mine- didn't you know? I digress. It was a hot mess after ships sank in WWII but nothing as good as when modern Homo sapiens did what they had to do."

drudown: (gulp.) "And what would that be? I read that 'we are not prey', Mr. White."

Mr. White: "Well, if that makes you feel better, that's fine. However, it is hard for me to understand how I haven't 'evolved enough' since we sharks were essentially a finished product over tens of million years before your first upright ancestors ever trod across the savannah in Africa, Betty Boop. In addition, explain to me how it is I haven't yet acquired a taste for you if I preceded you? Duh.

So, I too, in the interest of full disclosure, ate my share of humans- ok, fine.

But that is what I am: clear to see: ever vigilant to exploit such disasters during my ever-distant migrations over vast swaths of empty ocean washed over Eternity... to gorge myself when...the... the opportunity- presents itself and metabolic need directs. What's next? To blame the Croc for gorging himself on the chaos cafeteria of Wildebeest crossing the Mara river? These kind of opportunities can provide a lot of protein, you know. Don't you recycle too? Besides, I'm on the Atkins diet. No carbs. Just meat. Clown question, bro."

drudown: "Mr. White, [enter Wayne Gayle/Aussie accent] any regrets?"

Mr. White: "Regret? Well...I regret eating that 7th pup that I had. And biting my mate's gills really hard one time. That is about it. Oh, and I'm going to kill the guy will the cut out seal. [enter Judge Smails shark voice] 'don't you people have homes?'"

drudown: "Uh, lastly...are you the antisocial, blundering vagabond people seem to wish you to be?"

Mr. White: "I just told you I love to attend human disasters! Doesn't that count as something social? Well, I have no use for other, smaller sharks- other than to eat them. They avoid the temptation of whale carcasses for this sole reason. They also say 'too many White sharks rubbing up on one another. Can't they just get a cheap hotel room?'"

drudown: "What would you like to say the people out there?"

Mr. White: "If you are lost at sea, DON'T PANIC. I promise I will do my 'absolute best' to find you. I swear. The last thing I wan't you to think is that you are 'all alone' out there. I'm there too! I feel your pain...of being alone at sea, I mean...

And, well, your misfortune is is my gain.

Oh, we are going to be fast friends! Peas in pod.
Don't mind the prison fish. Not mine, and, well, that is their natural color. They're free to go. They might hang out to watch this last act, with unspeakable underwater silence to follow: before that- that unmistakable bump - that no other living person will ever know."

Silent ocean, silky stars, silent prayers...one strong tug.


(enter bubbles)

glug glug glug

***

shark lover

These sharks are so fascinating... I hope one of these days I can actually see one face to face, through a shark cage of course...

Babyruby88

too bad they can't recover from having their fins removed... :(

Marco Polo

That hole looks about as big as it was.

drudown

Given that Pacific White sharks seem to unilaterally display "surprisingly ordered"- if not verily described as "amicable" behavior when jointly feeding on, inter alia, (1) Northern Elephant Seals off the Farallons and (2) whale carrion throughout the Pacific Ocean and/or adjacent migratory range...tell me, how can these "injuries" have any other explanation if not received through White shark mating?

"Oh, this little bite? Wait until you see the mating scars from the Sister I'm dating."

(shark gulp.)

"But...please...there's really no need to remind her of...anything."

Seriously though, isn't it an accurate summary of the ongoing TOPP data to reasonably infer that nearly ALL such "mating scars" appear AFTER the White sharks return from their pan-Pacific migrations and visits to the (ahem) White Shark (Mating) Cafes? In other words, it is rare both in Northern CA and Guadalupe Island to observe these appreciable scars to appear locally during the summer-to-winter?

Yes or No.

Sorry, not sure what else there is to do out there for mature White sharks other than mate in slow descent to the bottom of the sea after mature females give birth a little farther out...say, around Hawaii (e.g., White sharks do not appear to be in "predation mode" along Hawaiian coastal ecosystems).

True or False.

Moreover, isn't it true that the "mating scars" on the White sharks that appear each summer in Northern CA and Guadalupe appear to be in the same area on the White sharks, no less- which coincides to other "mating scars" on other pelagic sharks, i.e., that have actually been observed to mate.

Perhaps the greatest danger is a less-than-alpha-male trying to "clasp" on an alpha female that decides "there is better out here in the middle of nowhere, thank you very much."

(shark chomp.)

"o-u-c-h."

(next suitor arrives)

"How's this, dollface. I let you bite my head as we sink to the bottom of the Pacific. Forget those pups you just had. They are gone, like seeds cast to the wind. My claspers...feel terrific.

And...I won't just 'swim away' or take a nap like those other guys."

So maybe there is more to the data before our eyes.

Perhaps these returning White sharks engage in the so-called "bite and wait" method around Northern CA because it allows both mature males and females to engage in the well documented "display" posturing that is more than merely "establishing a right to feed"- it is certainly unlikely the "bite and wait" data serves any fear-of-injury-related reason.

The females returning to Northern CA from long migrations likely just gave birth and are easily sated. Here, perhaps the "bite and wait" that attracts other alpha White sharks to appraise various mates for the upcoming White Shark Cafe mating season.

"So...you're telling me there's a chance." - Lloyd the Shark

Bluety

Although amazing, I hope this doesn't fuel the Asian shark medicinal market. Last thing we need is more shark finning "because if you eat shark, you'll acquire a sharks healing abilities."

Rolf Guido Schmieding

OMG!!! WOW!!! Great for Chugey and I am sure we can cure many more deceases by continuing to research these magnificent creatures that we have been abusing for far too long! I hope that you NEVER stop protecting Sharks, all of them! If anyone is reading this and i can ever help somehow, I would gladly do it. Rolf Schmieding

Sharkshooter

I guess only the "Shark Men" are actually fatal to the White Sharks at Guadalupe.

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