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Hennessey Part 5: Decision

Photo credit: Sharkcrew Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0
Aug 18 2021

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Original Articles

By Anthony Palumbi and Stephen Palumbi

These seals were lean, agile, and fast. They could twist almost in half, and change their direction in a heartbeat. They could accelerate to impossible speeds that left only bubbles behind. To catch them, she had to be a better shark than they were a seal, a skill set she had honed for decades.

But it was harder now, harder for her to twist and turn and accelerate, now with the large girth of her pups and their pulsing, wriggling energy. She usually weighed a full ton of muscle and blood and brain and teeth. But her pups added another quarter ton – held tensely in her uterus full to bursting. The pups got in her way when she needed agility.

And besides, these seals were too small for all this trouble. Each was barely a morsel for her hunger, barely the size of two of her pups. Barely enough to make up for the effort in catching them. They were the natural prey of smaller sharks. The inexperience and interference of her small brethren changed the decisions in her predator’s brain. The youngsters could have them. She needed more.

So, she left the rocks and turned north and east, in and out of the warmer gulf stream, heading north towards a realm that past migrations had promised larger prey. The distance was tiny as the ocean was measured - and the payoff would be worth it.

To start at the beginning of Hennessey's journey, click here