Skip to Content

The Newly Discovered Defense Behaviour Cape Fur Seals Exhibit Against Great White Sharks

Share this post on:


An unprecedented spectacle unfolds in the tumultuous waters off South Africa’s southern coast. Cape fur seals, typically the prey, are now the pursuers, showcasing a newly discovered defense behavior that sees them audaciously driving great white sharks into the ocean’s depths.

Great white shark is chased by Cape fur seals
© BBC Earth Youtube

The Majestic Great White Sharks

With their torpedo-shaped bodies and powerful tails, great white sharks are one of the ocean’s most formidable predators. They can accelerate to speeds of over 60 km/h and are known for their breaching behavior, where they leap out of the water to catch their prey. Armed with rows of serrated teeth and a keen sense of smell that can detect a single drop of blood in 10 billion drops of water, they are the epitome of an apex predator.

The Agile Cape Fur Seals

In contrast, Cape fur seals are known for their playful and agile nature. With a streamlined body, long flippers, and dense fur, these seals are adept swimmers, capable of maneuvering swiftly in water. They are social animals, often found basking in large colonies on rocky outcrops, and can dive up to 204 meters deep and stay submerged for as long as 11 minutes.

An Unprecedented Defense

The seals have unveiled an astonishing strategy in the face of the sharks’ predatory prowess. Cornered against jagged cliffs, they unite their collective courage mounting. In high numbers, they move behind the sharks, a tactic that seems to overwhelm and drive the predators away into the ocean’s depths.

YouTube video
© BBC Earth YouTube


This newly observed behavior underscores the fluidity and unpredictability inherent in nature. With their agility and adaptability, the seals are not just evading but actively confronting their predators. Despite their formidable skills, the great whites are being outmaneuvered in this unexpected turn of events.


Off the rugged shores of South Africa, amidst the roaring waves and towering cliffs, a new chapter in the intricate dance of the marine world is being written. With their newfound defense behavior, the Cape fur seals are challenging the predatory reign of the great white sharks, offering a glimpse into the dynamic and unpredictable nature of the ocean’s ecosystem.

You might also enjoy:

Great White Shark Seal Attack in Cape Cod Caught On Camera

Great White Shark Diet

Great White Mauls Fisher’s First Tuna Catch

Latest posts by Cayla de Souza, M.Sc. Ocean Sciences & Marine Biology (see all)

Share this post on: