Researchers warn of ‘very chunky’ shark in the Atlantic

Researchers warn of 'very chunky' shark in the Atlantic
‘Our data team can assume that the shark recently ate due to the size of its stomach’

Atlantic White Shark Conservancy researchers have seen a “very chunky” shark in the Atlantic ocean that caused them to do a “double-take”.

“There are some sharks that make our data team stop and take a double-take,” the conservancy wrote on Facebook on 3 November. “One of our data team members was analysing GoPro footage, they came across this very chunky, male, white shark. Our data team can assume that the shark recently ate due to the size of its stomach.”

According to the World Wildlife organisation, the “great white shark is the world’s largest known predatory fish” and it doesn’t chew its food despite having 300 teeth.

The shark can grow to between 16 and 20 feet in length and weigh between 4,000 and 7,000 pounds (1,800 to 3,175kg).

They “rip their prey into mouth-sized pieces which are swallowed whole” and its “heavy, torpedo-shaped body allows it to cruise efficiently for long periods of time”, the WWF states.

The sharks can “suddenly switch to high-speed bursts in pursuit of prey – sometimes leaping out of the water. It feeds on a broad spectrum of prey, from small fish, such as halibut, to large seals and dolphins”.

Researchers were surprised to see a ‘very chunky’ Great White shark in the Atlantic

At this time, there’s no accurate data on the great white shark population, according to National Geographic, but scientists agree that it’s likely that the number of great white sharks is going down due to overfishing, fishing gear accidents, as well as other issues.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature currently classifies the great white shark as vulnerable following the species’ most recent assessment on 7 November 2018.