Last week, we got up close with a great white shark and its seal dinner. Now, a new series of snapshots from the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy is giving us a different perspective on shark mealtime:

Great White Shark Meal3 2016 07 20
Image: Atlantic White Shark Conservancy/Facebook
Great White Shark Meal1 2016 07 20
Image: Atlantic White Shark Conservancy/Facebook
Great White Shark Meal2 2016 07 20
Image: Atlantic White Shark Conservancy/Facebook

White sharks are not be the ruthless killers The Shallows makes them out to be, but there's no denying their serious hunting prowess. Although their success rate is around 50 percent in much of their range (and seals are no easy prey), these animals are well equipped for the challenge.  

The aerial photographs were taken by spotter pilot Wayne Davis off Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge, which is located on Monomoy Island in Massachusetts. It's a grim end for the grey seal, but these photos are an encouraging sign that the great white sharks in the area are hunting and feeding well. It's also good news for scientists who hope to learn more about how these fish use those formidable jaws (had to go there) to capture prey. 

As the conservancy notes on its website, great white shark numbers have declined dramatically in recent years, down an estimated 75 percent in the northwest Atlantic alone in just the past 15 years. Most of that decline comes down to overfishing and other human activities – so before you jump to fear, remember that these sharks don't have it easy. 

"White sharks face a variety of threats including bycatch, finning, habitat degradation and trophy hunting," the conservancy says. "The sharks are slow-growing, late to mature, and have few offspring, making the species extremely vulnerable to the threats it faces and any reduction in population size makes recovery difficult."


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