Photographer Spots Giant Bite Mark on Huge Great White Shark

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Shark conservation activist, filmmaker and photographer Jalyl Najafov went on a great white shark expedition in Mexico. When he noticed a 15-foot shark, he couldn’t believe his eyes. Huge A circular scar from a bite scar of a size he has never seen.

Najafov was invited to dive a shark on a Pacific Fleet boat for a five-day great white shark expedition to Guadalupe Island, Mexico in August 2019. Guadalupe Island is a volcanic island 130 voyage miles (about 150 miles) from the west coast. An island on the Baja California Peninsula in Mexico, known for its scuba diving experience and encounters with great white sharks.

“On the second day of my trip, I was fortunate enough to meet Seabatch and shoot,” says Najafov. Peta Pixel. “On the final day, I saw this shark from the boat. Before we left the island, she swam past our boat as if she wanted to say goodbye.”

© Jaril Najafov

The biggest bite of a shark?

After finding the scar, Najafov did an underwater dive in the cage to take a better picture of Mark on the GoPro HERO7.

The scars of sharks passing by caused a “hot debate” between the teams. The filmmaker was very surprised to see such a huge bite — he understood that it was a shark bite, but he couldn’t believe it was that big.

“Mating usually leaves scars on the gills, so I thought it was an offensive act,” he explains. “I knew I shot a very rare footage, and it could be viral on social media.”

© Jaril Najafov

Mating scars or attacks?

Shark photographers used multiple cameras and lost sight of the memory card containing the photo of the byte mark. When he finally found the card on July 17, 2021, he posted to @discoversharks and his Instagram to ask his followers for their thoughts.

The photo he named the shark survivor was very well received and was his favorite photo on his Instagram page. He sent this photo to a company that distributed his content to the media, but they were “not interested” in distributing this particular set.

On December 13, 2021, divers released photos of other female sharks with mating bites. Rarely, during the shark mating period, Najafov explains that “mating scars” appear on the female shark’s body as male sharks bite the shark.

“The video of mating shark scars has become viral and we have begun to receive media inquiries about more on this subject,” says conservationists. “I thought it was a good chance to show a” real “byte mark.

“Before posting Seabatch (Survivor) again on my page, I decided to ask my friend, the scientist Dr. Tristian Guttridge. [VP/Director marine nonprofit Saving the Blue and Discovery Channel’s Shark Week presenter] The opinion, and his answer, was the same as mine. So I posted a photo, and it became a super virus … “

With another friend Michael Domeyer Shark Week The presenter, director and secretary general of the Institute for Marine Conservation Science, also felt that it was an attack from another shark.

Catch a shark
Najafov had the privilege of joining the @ silenthuntergroup and supporting one of the expeditions. During the trip, a crew led by @ tristanguttridge caught a nurse shark and the team “finished” the shark. Close examination included various measurements and collection of tissue samples such as DNA and stable isotopes before tagging and releasing this beautiful animal. Photo of Najafov by @ grant.t.johnson

Shark divers believe it is a bite because it is a wound on the underside of the shark and shows a circular jaw. Due to its round shape, it could not get caught in the propellers or rocks of the ship.

Aggression is common in great white sharks

Sharks frequently change habitat, but are not essentially territory. There is evidence that great white sharks assume priorities around the feeding grounds, and the largest white sharks usually get the best hunting spots.

Sharks live in harsh conditions, so exhibiting aggression is quite common for this species. They often fight for prey during the mating season and fight to protect themselves from larger species.

“Given the speed at which shark scars regenerate, there are many comments on social media that this scar may have remained since childhood, but such a theory is incorrect,” said the shark. Lovers say. “It has long been noted that shark wounds heal very quickly. I have seen pictures of injured sharks before and after injury by other photographers.

Najafov participated in the Discover Sharks Maldives whale shark expedition in September. Whale Shark, Photo: Zimy Da Kid @zimmydakid

Has the shark been attacked by a killer whale?

“Another theory from the comments is [that the scar is from a] It’s a bite scar of a killer whale, but the shape of the jaw and teeth of the orca is different, “says Najafov. “I think the scars on this shark are about a year old. This is the result of being bitten by another great white shark.

“I don’t know how big this shark was. I’ll draw a 3D model of a deep blue shark. [a female great white shark estimated to be 20 ft long and is said to be over fifty years old] See what bite size she can leave [shark of this size]..

“Of course, there may be great white sharks that are larger than deep blue and do not appear in front of humans. I do not believe in Megalodon. [literally big tooth] Theory, many are now publishing it. Unfortunately, we cannot be sure of what happened to Seabatch. The only thing that is certain is that the bite was large. “

Discoversharks expedition in Maldives, September, nurse shark.Photo by Alexander Schmidt @alexsharks_

Great white sharks typically average up to 13 feet (4 m) in males and up to 16 feet (4.9 m) in females.

Photographer and his gear

Najafov grew up in Azerbaijan, a country on the border between Eastern Europe and West Asia. He has always been passionate about sharks and the sea, so he quit his government job, where he had been working for several years.

He soon came across a trip and six years ago decided to devote his life to shark photography and photography in his natural habitat. Today he often stays in the United States, but his hometown is still in Azerbaijan. He set his goal of educating people about the importance of sharks and the protection of sharks.

It’s hard to believe that hundreds of sharks have been killed by conservationists. Per minute For their fins, just for the “bowl of soup”. He feels we need to raise awareness of sharks and is doing his best to draw attention to the cause in his videos and photos.

Filmmakers who “love all the animals in the ocean” like GoPro cameras. He uses GoPro 7, 9, and 10. He also has 18-135mm and 50mm Canons and a Paralenz Vaquita underwater camera.

Najafov shoots primarily with available light, but has used artificial light several times during night dives.

Photo by Discover Sharks and Silent Hunter Group Expedition, Andros Bahamas, Silky Shark, Grant T. Johnson @ grant.t. Johnson

People think of sharks as monsters

Sharks emphasize Najafov, not human-eating monsters, and are careful not to believe what is depicted in the movie. The risk of being attacked by sharks is very low, but of course it depends on the species you swim with.

He advises divers to remember that they are among the wildlife. His advice is not to constantly stare at the viewfinder of the camera, but to always look back, look everywhere, enjoy sharks in their habitat, and take great photos and videos.

Underwater explorers use shark cages only on Guadalupe Island, Mexico. In most other places, he is freediving, usually 2-5 meters (7-16 feet) below the surface.

“Always listen to the shark’s guide,” warns the shark divers who also shot orca, whales, and merlin. “Remember that the sea is their hometown. Always pay homage to them! Every year 70-250 million sharks are killed! You need to save them!”

You can see more than 1,000 amazing pictures of sharks on Najafov’s Instagram.

About the author: Phil Mistry is a photographer and teacher based in Atlanta, Georgia. He started one of the first digital camera classes at the International Center of Photography in New York City in the 90’s. He was the director and teacher of the Digital Days Workshop for Sony / Popular Photography. You can contact him here.

Image credit: Header photo and the next two photos by Jalyl Najafov.

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