While a shark stuffed animal might not be your first choice of soft toy for your child, don't be surprised if that's the one they really want. After all, a shark stuffed animal comes complete with teeth (the plush kind) if you choose to go with the Great White species, making it all the more authentic as compared to a less imposing type of soft toy a teddy bear, for example.
A recent study published in the Journal of Zoology, claims that great white sharks uses geographic profiling, an investigative technique applied to the hunting patterns. Researchers discovered that while sharks do kill for food, when they do, they stalk their prey while remaining out of sight. Geographic profiling is the first time such a technique has ever been used on a marine species. 340 great white shark attacks were observed of Cape fur seals, located off Seal Island in False Bay, South Africa. With the use of radar charts, researchers were able to plot the attack sites so they could look at the distribution of the encounters and also take note of where the attacks began and ended. Normally, the frequency of the attacks should have been related to how dense the population of the prey was with sharks lying in wait where most of the seals gathered. The results of the study, however, showed that was not the case. Instead, sharks were positioning themselves close to 328 feet from the island at water depths of about 82 feet. It is believed that the rational behind this technique was that it struck just the right balance for the shark to be close enough to attack but still not close enough to be detected [by the seals]. Large adult sharks also had very specific points from which they anchored themselves which is where they would launch their attacks repeatedly. Younger, smaller sharks, however, did not show the same focus.
Researchers believe the differences between older and younger sharks' attack strategies was based on refined hunting skills which they could only learn over time - older sharks would have the advantage and as a result could dominate younger sharks and keep them away from the best hunting areas. When it comes to hunting for seals, sharks must be very smart in their attack strategies as seals can inflict serious damage on them.
If you're looking for the best possible great white shark stuffed animal, online stores have a great selection. Some have a 3 foot great white shark stuffed animal that comes with an open mouth displaying lots of 'sharp' teeth a terrific replica of the real thing.