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VIDEO: Pregnant Great White Shark Feasts on 55-Foot Long Whale Carcass for 18 Hours Straight

May 05, 2017 08:05 AM EDT
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Independent researchers have captured on film a pregnant great white shark munching fiercely on a floating humpback carcass off the coast of California.

As per the report of National Geographic, the dead whale, which was named Scarlet, had originally surfaced closer to Newport Beach on Thursday. However, it was eventually dragged 14 miles off Dana Point to remove the stench and let it decompose in the water.

As soon as Keith Poe, who runs SharkTagger.com, heard about the news, he and his team from California State University Long Beach went to the location, with hopes that the 55-foot long carcass has attracted predators.

Poe and his team collect biological samples and monitor sharks' migration and population size by tagging them.

As they were nearing the location, they spotted a great white munching on Scarlet and started filming. It was approximately 16 to 18 feet long.

"She looked like she was here to give birth -- she was very large in her girth," Poe told Orange County Register. "As she was eating the whale, it was ridiculous how big she got. She was swimming upside-down, just swimming around like she was very happy and satisfied.

Poe and his crew watched the shark for 18 hours. Few hours after observing its behavior, they noticed the shark started to act as if it was "intoxicated."

Poe said in a separate interview with KGTV that the shark was swimming upside down and bumping into the whale -- an uncommon behavior among sharks while eating a whale.

For a long time, scientists believed sharks, especially great whites are apex predators, until a study published in 2013 proved otherwise.

The researchers recorded occurrences of great white sharks feeding on whale carcass in False Bay. The study noted that the finding is remarkable as little is known about the behavior of great whites. Although they could not explain why great whites scavenge, they noted that it is a crucial activity.

Unlike their aggressive behavior when catching prey, they appear docile and calm when feeding on a whale carcass. Moreover, they eat the carcass methodically, starting with the fluke and then the areas that are rich in blabber.

The observation of the 2013 study coincides with what was documented by Poe and his crew.

Meanwhile, the dead whale Scarlet was pretty famous in the area. Last year, she was entangled for six weeks before she was able to break free. It was suspected that she died because of the injuries she sustained during her entanglement.

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