Recent studies done in Australia has shown that Great White Sharks eat up to three or four times more than originally thought. Research done in the 1980s in the US estimated a meal of 30kg mammal blubber would sustain a 1 ton shark for more than 6 weeks. Thus it was believed that these animals could survive for long periods without eating, when in fact this would only suffice for 12 – 15 days.
Great White Sharks are macro predators and feed mostly on seals, sea-lions, elephant seals, dolphins and fish, including other sharks and rays. They are active during the day and keep close to surface of the water until their spot their prey, thus they are known as ambush hunters. They will wait until they are close enough to their prey and then snap their heads up and grab a bite. Some Great Whites have even been seen jumping out of the water after their meals like fierce missiles. Their intelligence allows them to adapt to the catch their prey in the best way, either via ambush or surface-charge. It is also interesting to learn that apparently Great Whites can determine if its prey has the sufficient energy levels and will then proceed accordingly. Either by taking a huge bite and waiting for the prey to bleed to death or leave it be.
Believed to survive on small amounts of prey for long periods these apex hunters use quite a lot of energy during hunting. The study found that the energy they need is equivalent to the animals eating a seal pup every 3 days. A dozen Great Whites were tagged and studied and revealed valuable insight into their feeding and how they fit into the ecosystems around them.
It is a known fact that these apex hunters are classified as endangered due to overfishing across the globe. It is however of extreme importance that these misunderstood creatures remain at large, otherwise other sea life will overpopulate and become a hassle to us and the rest of the ecosystems. So let us leave them to their healthy appetites, after all it is healthy for the environment as well.