New Research Study Sheds Light on Diet Plan of Juvenile Great White Sharks

The diet plan of juvenile white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) has to do with 32% mid-water fish, 17% bottom-dwelling fish, 5% reef fish, and 15% batoid fish such as stingrays; the rest is unknown fish or less plentiful victim, according to brand-new research study from the University of Sydney and the New South Wales Department of Main Industries.

The great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias).

The fantastic white shark (Carcharodon carcharias).

University of Sydney PhD prospect Richard Grainger and associates analyzed the stomach contents of 40 juvenile white sharks captured by the way off New South Wales, Australia.

The scientists compared their information with released information in other places worldwide, primarily South Africa, to develop a dietary structure for the types.

They discovered that based upon abundance, the sharks’ diet plan relied primarily on:

(i) pelagic, or mid-water ocean swimming fish, such as Australian salmon: 32.2%;

(ii) bottom-dwelling fish, such as stargazers, sole or flathead: 17.4%;

(iii) reef fish, such as eastern blue gropers: 5.0%;

(iv) batoid fish, such as stingrays: 14.9%;

(v) the rest was unknown fish or less plentiful victim; marine mammals, other sharks and cephalopods (squid and cuttlefish) were consumed less regularly.

“Within the sharks’ stomachs we discovered stays from a range of fish types that generally survive on the seafloor or buried in the sand,” Grainger stated.

“This suggests the sharks should invest a great part of their time foraging simply above the seabed.”

“We found that although mid-water fish, specifically eastern Australian salmon, were the primary victim for juvenile white sharks in New South Wales, stomach contents highlighted that these sharks likewise feed at or near the seabed,” stated Dr. Vic Peddemors, a scientist in the New South Wales Department of Main Industries.

“White sharks have a diverse diet plan. Along with east Australian salmon, we discovered proof of other bony fish consisting of eels, whiting, mullet and wrasses,” Grainger stated.

“We discovered that rays were likewise a crucial dietary element, consisting of little bottom-dwelling stingrays and electrical rays.”

“Eagle rays are likewise hunted, although this can be hard for the sharks provided how quick the rays can swim.”

“The searching of larger victim, consisting of other sharks and marine mammals such as dolphin, is not most likely to occur till the sharks reach about 2.2 m in length.”

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The group likewise discovered that bigger sharks tended to have a diet plan that was greater in fat, most likely due to their high energy requires for migration.

“This fits with a great deal of other research study we’ve done revealing that wild animals, consisting of predators, choose diet plans specifically stabilized to fulfill their nutrient requires,” stated University of Sydney’s Teacher David Raubenheimer.

The research study was released in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science.

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Richard Grainger et al. Diet Plan Structure and Nutritional Specific Niche Breadth Irregularity in Juvenile White Sharks (Carcharodon carcharias). Front. Mar. Sci, released online June 7, 2020; doi: 10.3389/fmars.2020.00422

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