Have you heard of the White Shark Cafe?
It's the hippest place to be in the winter, if you're a great white, that is. Located halfway between Hawai‘i and Baja California, the cafe still remains a mystery to researchers. But thanks to a satellite tracking system, tidbits of information have been piecing together for the past few years.
Here's what they know: As soon as waters get chilly in December, the tagged California sharks start to disappear. According to the National Wildlife Federation, about 20-percent of the predators head to Hawai‘i, most likely to feed on humpback whale calves or placentas (this is also the humpbacks' mating season). The remainder of them migrate to the cafe.
But they're not going for coffee and scones. Marine biologists say this mid-Pacific hangout has very little food and call it the shark equivalent of a desert. Tagged sharks reveal a pattern of consistent diving to depths of 1,800 feet, perhaps for giant squid; other than that, the food supply is limited.
So why are they going there? Other theories suggest the cafe is more of a honeymooners' destination. Satellite tracking shows that lady sharks weave in and out of the guys. But while scientists haven't seen white sharks mate or give birth, the fact that pups show up to Cali every year, around August, gives some proof of that theory.
Perhaps they're just vacationing? After all, those sharks have to get away from us, humans, somehow. Why not head to a tropical destination for some R & R. Sounds familiar, huh?
Entry Filed under: Ocean
November 10th, 2012