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Tiger Shark Near the Waterline | by Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument
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Tiger Shark Near the Waterline

A tiger shark / niuhi (Galeocerdo cuvier) seen on the west side of Lisianski Island in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument during the peak of the Laysan Albatross fledgling / mōlī (Phoebastria immutabilis) season in June-July. During this time, tiger sharks 10 feet or larger patrol the shallows, coming close to the waterline in an effort to catch an albatross fledgling to eat. The albatross fledglings during this season begin to leave their nests and explore down toward the waterline, where they practice their flying by running, jumping and flapping their wings. Occasionally, they take to the water to try their running takeoffs. While they are still learning, they float out to sea, which is the perfect time for the sharks to catch their prey. Sometimes these attacks are over in one simple bite, but othertimes, the birds are able to evade with a peck to the shark's nose or a kick off to the side.

 

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Photo by: Mark Sullivan, NOAA Fisheries Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program, 2016

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Taken on July 12, 2016