As it turns out, great white sharks have a lot in common with Hannibal Lecter. That's according to Seth Borenstein's luridly fascinating AP story today:

Great white sharks have some things in common with human serial killers, a new study says: They don't attack at random, but stalk specific victims, lurking out of sight. ...

The sharks feeding at Seal Island could have just hovered right where the seals congregated if they were random killers-of-opportunity, Hammerschlag said. But they weren't.

The sharks had a distinct M.O.

They were focused. They stalked from a usual base of operations, 100 yards from their victims. It was close enough to see their prey, but not close enough to be seen and scare off their victims. They attacked when the lights were low. They liked their victims young and alone. They tried to attack when no other sharks were around to compete. They learned from previous kills.

We do, however, learn one key distinction: "The great whites attack to eat and survive, not for thrills." Or at least that's what they'd have us believe....

--Bradford Plumer