Thursday, January 17, 2008


Family usually chooses the beach as the place to spend the dog days of summer. But if these animals are around, try to reconsider the venue of relaxation. Here in the Philippines, we are fortunate that we don't see these animals as they ravage their preys and eat them, including human beings.

White sharks are carnivorous, and primarily eat fish (including rays, tuna, and smaller sharks), dolphins, porpoises, whale carcasses and pinnipeds such as seals, fur seals and sea lions. Sea otters and sea turtles are also taken at times. Great whites have also been known to eat objects that they are unable to digest. In great white sharks above 3.41 metres (11 ft, 2 in) a diet consisting of a higher proportion of mammals has been observed. These sharks prefer prey with high contents of energy-rich fat. Shark expert Peter Klimley used a rod-and-reel rig and trolled carcasses of a seal, a pig, and a sheep to his boat in the South Farallons. The sharks attacked all three baits but rejected the lower fat content sheep carcass.

The great white is regarded as an apex predator with its only real threats from humans and, in at least one incident, the orca. Although their diets overlap greatly, there are few reports of encounters between orcas and great whites, and they don't seem to directly compete with each other. Great whites are also sometimes preyed on by larger specimens.