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A cape fur seal leaps from the edge of the rocky island. It plunges into the crystal blue water. T e sunlit waters grow darker as the seal dives deeper. Large clumps of thick seaweed block its path. It dips and spins past the seaweed as it looks for small fish to eat. Not far away, a great white shark senses


that the seal is in the water. T e shark’s skin is sensitive. It senses the movement made by the swimming seal. T e shark quickly changes direction. It swims toward the seal. T e shark turns its head from side to side.


T is movement travels down its body until it reaches the tail fin. Its swishing tail fin pushes against the water. T is moves the shark forward. It speeds toward the seal. As the shark swims closer, it picks up


another signal. Every living creature gives off tiny pulses of electricity. Moving muscles create these pulses. T e shark can sense the seal’s heartbeat. T e signal is faint, but the shark follows it. As the shark swims, water flows in and out


of its nostrils. Now it can smell the seal. Once it catches a whiff of the seal, the shark zigs and then zags. Its head swings from side to side. It sniff s the water with one nostril, then the other. T is helps it pinpoint the seal.


A cape fur seal dives deep, chasing a fi sh it wants to eat.


Finally, the shark sees the seal. Yet the seal


doesn’t notice the shark swimming toward it. It’s too busy chasing a fish through seaweed. T e shark is hard to spot. Aſt er all, only its


belly is white. T e top of its body is gray to black. To the seal, the shark’s back blends in with the dark water. T is is good for the shark. Sharks are


ambush predators. Before attacking, they try to get as close as possible to their prey. T e shark swims closer to the seal. T e seal


catches its fish and races up to the surface. T e shark speeds up to follow. At last, the seal senses danger. It turns


its head to look over its shoulder. T e shark opens its mouth. Rows of jagged teeth look like knives. T e frantic seal tries to escape by swimming faster. Yet few animals can outswim a great white shark. With a powerful push of its tail, the shark closes the gap between them. Both seal and shark burst out of the water


and spring into the air. T e shark snaps its jaws shut, but it just misses the seal’s tail. T e seal twists its body in midair as the


shark falls back into the water. T e seal dives back into the sea headfirst. It swims away in a zigzag pattern, putting as much distance as it can between itself and the shark. T e shark breaks off its attack. Even a great


hunter like the great white shark misses once in a while. T e shark sinks to the depths again to look for other prey.


4 NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC EXPLORER


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