Favorite Wildlife Friday with Blake Lively and a vulnerable species in South Africa.
An animal ‘Gossip Girl’ actress Blake Lively swam with is the star of this week’s Favorite Wildlife Friday. Can you guess the “scary” but “beautiful” animal she joined in the water?
Who am I?
- I have a wide distribution, being found in every major ocean. A dense population is found on South Africa’s coastline, where most research on me is conducted.
- I can reach over 6 metres in length and I’m grey or bronze on my upper surface, with white underneath.
- Adults are usually solitary or occur in pairs and females give birth to live young.
- I’m an effective predator, with a streamlined body for speed when swimming; a mouth full of rows of sharp teeth; and amazing senses of smell and sound detection.
- I have special sensory organs, called electroreceptors, in my head that enable me to detect electrical impulses emitted by my prey’s hearts or gills.
- I ambush my prey, which include: seals, large fish, dolphins, porpoises and whales.
- I’m often portrayed in movies as a man-eater, but I’m only responsible for 5-10 attacks on humans each year, which are rarely fatal.
- I am classified as vulnerable to extinction. Threats pushing me towards extinction include: being caught by fisherman, either accidentally as by-catch, or hunted for my body parts, including fins (for shark-fin soup); and hunting for game fishing.
Have You Guessed?
I am the great white shark. Blake Lively swam with great white sharks while filming the movie ‘Green Lantern’ in South Africa, an experience she described as a “scary but…also a beautiful thing”
Blog information provided by Nikela Volunteer Danielle Boobyer.