Great White keeps her head up as she follows her Ampullae of Lorenzini!
As we see Great White Sharks are extremely inquisitive. We have covered spy hopping in other posts but this is an intriguing example of spy hopping by a Great White Shark. Usually when a Great White Shark pops its head above the surface to investigate what is going on, it's only for a couple of seconds before dropping below again. In the video you can see the sharks head comes above the surface and propels itself forward through the water.
This video was taken at Seal Island in Mossel Bay a harbour town on the Garden Route in South Africa’s Western Cape Province. You can see other similar behaviour in some of the other clips on the channel.
If you look closely at the nose you will see lots of small black dots. These are electroreceptors, they form a network of mucus-filled pores called the Ampullae of Lorenzini. These organs detect the electrical impulses generated by the muscle contractions of nearby prey. They’re so sensitive that they can even detect a beating heart.
This sensory organ is particularly effective on electrical devices such as GoPro's. When the Great White Shark pops her head up we began to film with the camera only a few feet from her nose. She follows the stimulant mouthing as she goes trying to feel what could be causing it before going past and sinking back down.
What initially starts out looking like a nightmarish scene from Jaws actually turns out to be a fascinating investigative behaviour. Exploring and investigating are one of the factors that make the Great White Shark so successful!