• The territoriality theory has been disputed for many, many years. There is evidence to suggest that Great Whites are territorial, since there have been several cases of a single Great White staking a claim around an area with ample prey. In this case, the 'Jaws' scenario has a bit of fact. A few years ago, a Great White shark was staked off the Australian coastline. Several swimmers were attacked and killed by presumably the same shark. The attacks did not stop until, mysteriously, a lone Orca(killer whale) showed up, killed the Great White, and swam away. Australia is notable for Great White Shark attacks, as is the African coastline. However, the events of 1916 off the New Jersey coast, likely perpetrated by a Great White Shark(s), is another potential example of territoriality. Swimmers continually went into the water...and the shark or sharks had a continuous source of food. This happened for approximately 12 days, ending finally with the death of a boy by a shark that appears to have swam far inland via a brackish water channel. After this attack the attacks ceased. However, fishing traulers caught an unbeleivable amount of juvenile white sharks on one of their hooklines during the nigh 2 weeks of the terrifying event, suggesting that if a number of Great Whites had made territory, then they may have been there for a long time to come. I highly suggest picking up '12 Days of Terror' by Richard G. Fernicola, which is an outstanding presentation and investigation of these attacks. I read it 3 years ago, and i've been leary of the ocean ever since. The fact of the matter is that there may be more than one breed of Great White Shark. Off of the African coastline, Great White sharks have been known to leap ferociously out of the water in the midst of attacking their prey, a behavior not seen in any other part of the world. Behavioral patterns seem to differ in different areas of the world, suggesting that great whites may indeed have some sort of variation of breed. As for territoriality as a whole, that is both a yes and no answer question. Yes, if a Great White finds an area with an ample amount of feeding and prey, it WILL stay there until the food source runs out, and it may very well challenge any other shark or predator that comes into its feeding ground. As for 'No', I cannot definitively say no...other than the fact that the Great White tends to roam, and isolated cases of territoriality, though not rare, are somewhat few. Clarification added 7/1/09: The incident that was caused in the brackish river channel was not perpetuated by a Great White Shark. I can see that I have had some negative ratings caused by this misunderstanding. I never implied that a Great White attacked the boy in the river. However, evidence suggests that the attacks perpetrated at the beaches WERE committed by Great White Sharks.
  • From our experience with Great Whites at Isla Guadalupe, Mexico it does not seem that whites are territorial. They do tend to congregate in the same areas from year to year but "territory" for these magnificent animals seems to be bounded by food sources, such as seal colonies. We have a research team from CICIMAR looking into the answer for this question and thus far based on the data they seem to be more roamers than territorial. Links:
  • what do you mean dear ?

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