Researchers are shocked to find 2 great white sharks have become ‘buddies’ since the predators are typically solitary creatures

A great white shark off the coast of Cape Cod in 2022.

Joseph Prezioso/Getty Images

Researchers were shocked to find out that two great white sharks have become friends.
The sharks, named Simon and Jekyll, have travelled 4,000 miles together up the Atlantic Coast.
Great white sharks are usually solitary creatures so finding these shark “buddies” was a surprise.

Turns out, even chronically single apex predators may need companionship sometimes. 

Researchers were shocked to discover that two great white sharks — which are typically solitary creatures — have seemingly become friends, traveling thousands of miles together. 

Scientists at OCEARCH, a nonprofit research organization, first tagged Simon and Jekyll with location trackers in December off the coast of Georgia, according to the group’s website.

OCEARCH has learned that since then, the sharks have traveled practically side-by-side for over 4,000 miles, all the way up the Atlantic Coast to the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, the organization said in a video posted to Facebook.

During the summer great whites travel over hundreds of miles north from Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas in search of gray seals. Canda’s rebounding seal population attracts the predators, Live Science reports.

Why are these two great white shark sticking together?

“This is potentially groundbreaking,” Bob Hueter, chief scientist at OCEARCH, said in the Facebook video, later adding, “We’ve never seen anything quite like this before.”

Heuter continued, “White sharks lead a very solitary existence. We don’t really expect to see these white sharks staying together, but Simon and Jekyll, they seem to be buddies in the sense that they’re going in the same place at the same time.”

Heuter said in the video that OCEARCH plans to conduct genetic analyses on samples of the sharks’ DNA to determine if the pair are brothers or half-brothers.

They’re both juvenile sharks, with Simon weighing in at 434 pounds and 9 feet 6 inches long and Jekyll at 395 pounds and 8 feet 8 inches, according to their profiles on OCEARCH’s website. 

Gray reef sharks, sand tigers, and hammerheads all form social groups to some degree. While great whites are generally solitary, Yannis Papastamatiou, a professor at Florida International University, found that it varies from shark to shark. Some are friendly and others prefer to be alone.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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