A baby great white shark has been spotted off Santa Barbara Beach for the first time in the wild, researchers believe

In a rare and unusual moment, images of a newborn great white shark have been captured off the coast of Santa Barbara, possibly for the first time.

Wildlife photographer and filmmaker Carlos Guana was filming great white sharks with UC Riverside biology doctoral student Phillip Sternes last July. is over.

On that particular day, he wrote on Instagram that he saw what he thought was a pregnant great white that disappeared under the water moments before a smaller, white-looking shark surfaced. Stearns said they noticed the shark's „white coat” shedding as it swam, and he thinks the shark secreting during pregnancy is shedding its mother's colostrum.

The white shark sheds its pure white outer layer. | Credit: Carlos Gauna/The Malibu Artist

Guana has a record of spying sharks, but this is something he's never seen before.

„Where white sharks are born is one of the holy grails of shark science. No one has ever been able to figure out where they are born, and no one has ever seen a newborn baby shark alive,” Gauna said. News release of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)..

“Dead white sharks were found inside dead pregnant mothers. But nothing like that.”

Both wrote and Published an article A significant finding in Ecobiology of Fishes magazine. They list two hypotheses: the shark they saw was, in fact, a newborn great white, or it was a shark with a rare skin condition.

However, both are almost certain that it is a great white baby. Guana observed previously pregnant great whites, including three days before the white shark emerged. The shark was very small, and was often only hours or a day old, Stearnes said.

Side view of a newborn great white shark. | Credit: Carlos Gauna/The Malibu Artist

Central California is also believed to be the birthplace of great whites. Although there are several „conjectural areas,” Stearnes said, „No one has ever seen a birth or a newborn cub in the wild.”

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Over the past two years, Guana has helped researchers cover southern Santa Barbara County, mostly around Carpinteria. A nursery for young sharks. According to the Santa Barbara/Hawai'i nonprofit Reef GuardiansArea watchers have observed juvenile great whites entering local nurseries in the spring.

Many scientists believe that great whites are born at sea, and this pup was probably born in shallow water because it was filmed so close to shore.

„Further research is needed to confirm that these waters are indeed a great white breeding ground,” Stearns said in an AAAS news release. „But if that happens, we want lawmakers to protect these waters so white sharks can thrive.”

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