Scientists suspect warming temperatures might explain the animals presence in Californias Monterey Bay
A group of young great white sharks has taken up residence along the central coast of California, enthralling beachgoers, residents, local media outlets and scientists.
Marine biologists are working to understand why the sharks the largest predatory fish in the world have ventured up to Californias Monterey Bay.
The juvenile great whites typically reside in the balmy waters of southern California, near the US-Mexico border. But the fish have increasingly wandered north in the past few years, leading to frequent sightings in the Monterey Bay since 2014.
Scientists suspect the warming temperatures of the ocean may play a role in the sharks surprising movements.
White sharks are endotherms they have a warmer internal temperature, which makes them more like mammals than fish, said Sal Jorgensen, a senior research scientist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium who studies white sharks in the Pacific Ocean. Especially when theyre first born, they have to stay in a Goldilocks temperature range thats not too hot and not too cold.
Along with researchers at local universities, Jorgensen has been working to tag and track the white sharks, to better understand how these large, ancient marine predators are coping with a changing climate. He said warming ocean temperatures driven by the climate crisis could have attracted the sharks to regions that were previously too cold for comfort.