Something in the ocean is eating great white sharks
Ever since the movie "Jaws" popularized great white sharks as predatory man-killers, people have had misconceptions about these animals. That is why researchers have been doing everything they can to learn as much about them before they are hunted to extinction.
Whether you're frightened of them or not, it's still unfortunate to learn that one less great white exists now.
Researchers were tagging great whites to study their movements. In the process, they tagged a nine-foot female, who left the area safely. Four months later, her tag was found on a beach near where she was first caught -- and the data tells a very interesting story.
"It showed this profile going down the shelf to 580 meters, then a huge temperature change ... another living animal," said a Smithsonian researcher.
Yes, it appears that the nine-foot great white was eaten. The big question? What ate her? Whatever it was, it had to be big enough to swallow almost 10 feet of apex predator, and quick enough to drag it almost 2,000 feet in a few seconds.
So, what is it? A giant squid? Godzilla? A Megalodon? Well, actually, that last one is not too far off from the real theory.
The Megalodon was a prehistoric shark, much like a great white ... but 60-feet long. Researchers don't actually believe it was a Megalodon, but they do think it was a giant shark: a great white about 16-feet long and weighing over 4,000 lbs. This deduction came from studying the migratory patterns of other great whites that happened to be in the same area as the missing shark with matching body temperatures.
Still, that is just a hypothesis for now. They still don't know for sure what ate this great white.
Interested in this wild story? You can watch the full documentary, called the "Hunt for the Super Predator," on the Smithsonian Channel on June 25th.