More to the “White Shark Café” Than Originally Thought!

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By Alan Throop

A recent expedition to the mid-Pacific region dubbed the “White Shark Café” has revealed not an apparently empty area, but one that was teaming with life.

They found that sharks would dive down as deep at 3,000 feet, one of the largest vertical migrations of animals on Earth.

In this articleMarine biologists tagged and traced the horizontal open-ocean migration of GWS from the coasts of California and Mexico to this large ocean area located about half-way between North America and Hawaii.

They have been tagging GWS and knew of these area where they congregate at (time of year) for a number of years and they have been discovering hundreds of new species in these deep-water regions of the Pacific. But the recent expedition discovered that the water is abundant with squid, jellyfish, deepwater fish, and of course the tiny phytoplankton. They also learned of the vertical gender-specific migration, where females would only deep dive, between 1,400 feet and 3,000 feet during the day, and 650 feet at night, while the males would dive down as many as 140 times a day.

They are also learning more about the adaptations that animals are making to the open-water regions. For example, cookie-cutter sharks have evolved light-emitting organs called photophores, which disguise their shape to prey below making them ‘invisible.’ Scientists say that more research into this mid-water zone could lead to biomedical breakthroughs and give clues about how to tackle climate change.

Marine biologist tagging sharks

Marine biologists began tagging sharks more than a decade ago but the predators’ month-long annual pilgrimage to a seemingly barren area in the mid-Pacific region from the coasts of California and Mexico had baffled scientists. Pitcured; Dr. Salvador Jorgenson prepares to collect a tissue biopsy from a white shark in the Farallon Islands, California

 

Great White Shark

Great white sharks have led researchers to discover a secret, hidden oceanic void teeming with life

A map shows the route of great white sharks from the coasts of Californi and Hawaii to the void