Shark Like A Missile: Free Jumping Great White Aims For The Sky

A variety of explanations have been offered for the white shark's behavior, including the presence of a larger predator below.

A new video has been released which examines the behavior of Mossel Bay’s great white sharks, and it reveals footage of one of the massive predators free jumping out of the sea, reaching for the sky like a submarine-fired missile.

Last month, footage of a great white shark “photobombing” another of its species went viral online, as the Inquisitr previously reported. That clip was filmed from within a dive cage, as a white shark mouthed the enclosure in an effort to examine it. The luckily positioned photographer captured the unusual image of a second white shark breaching in the background, perfectly aligned with the unaware shark sinking its teeth into the cage.

The new video, released to YouTube on Tuesday by White Shark Video, references that incident, and includes an appearance by Dan Abbott, from whose boat the footage was filmed. In the new clip, the unusual behavior of Mossel Bay’s white sharks are examined, particularly as it relates to their approach to diving cages, as Grind TV notes.

One of the actions examined in the video is known as mouthing. As is mentioned in the footage, great white sharks are at a disadvantage in examining the world, as they lack any appendages which can be used in the same way that humans employ hands. The result is that the sharks sometimes examine objects with their mouth, a behavior which is often mis-characterized by observers and the media as an “attack,” as Yahoo News reports.

The great white sharks in Mossel Bay also display size hierarchy, which is evident in the behavior of smaller specimens when their larger brethren arrive in the area. Smaller sharks will quickly leave a diving cage when a larger great white turns up, and they show particular sensitivity to having a bigger shark below them. This is inextricably linked to the white shark’s preferred method of hunting, in which they rocket from the bottom like a missile, breaching the surface.

Such is the case with the shark revealed at the end of the new clip, which free jumps from the water with no prey in sight. A number of explanations are offered regarding the shark’s behavior, including the possibility that it was fleeing a larger predator or attempting to remove a parasite. Whatever the inspiration for the shark’s missile-like flight, great white fans will no doubt be happy that this stunning display of animal acrobatics was caught on film.

[Image: White Shark Video via Grind TV]