Thursday, January 24, 2013

What's More Dangerous Than a Great White Shark?

Cookie Cutter Shark
According to an article in Shark Year Magazine,  a study by the University of Florida shows that small cookiecutter shark feeds on flesh of great white.

While diving at Guadalupe Island we have observed, not only Great White Sharks with  Cookie Cutter bites, but also Elephant Seals and Beaked Whales. 

The way this little shark gets away with biting much larger animals is very unique. They produce bio luminescence, (living light) to attract predators at night. When the much larger predators come near the Cookie Cutter Shark, it takes a bite out of them. 

Unlike most predators, Cookie Cutter Sharks don't kill their prey, they just take a bite or two. I guess their feeding habits make for a sustainable food supply.

It just goes to show that even the feared Great White Shark is not immune from predators, and that size doesn't always matter. 

There is so much we don't know about the oceans and the creatures that live in it. Humans entering the water tend to be afraid of the unknown and that's why it's important that we keep researching and discovering the secrets the oceans hold. 

Seal with Cookie Cutter Shark bites
When it comes to making beaches safer for the public, hopefully a greater understanding will lead to policies and actions that are based on facts and knowledge instead of irrational fear.

The lead researcher for this study is Dr. Maurico Hoyos-Padilla, the main shark researcher at Guadalupe Island a man I have known for 10 years and am proud to call a friend. 

Way to go Dr. Mau!


Martin Graf
Managing Director 
Shark Diver

About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at