Social Lives of Sharks

Published December 05, 2016

Scientists are investigating the behavior of sharks to find out if they roam the ocean together.

Researchers from the University of Delaware are using radio tracking technology to understand shark behavior. This technology has been used before to track animals independently but is now being used to monitor how sharks interact.blacktip-reef-sharks

The new research focuses on a variety of the 400 known shark species. Scientists want to investigate species individually and also understand how they relate to one another. Simple proximity, however, does not necessarily indicate social behavior. Just because sharks occupy the same space does not mean they acknowledge those around them—much like humans utilizing public transportation.

Different sharks may share the same areas in search of food, a mate or the ideal water temperature. In order for scientists to better develop their conclusions, they need to supplement their tracking data with additional observations. For example, two male sand tiger sharks were studied in the Delaware Bay and appeared to move in sync with one another. A deeper understanding of their actions, once in the same area, requires further observational data.

While this research sheds new light on the social lives of sharks as a whole, there is still more work to be done to draw conclusions about the behavior of individual species. 

To read more about this new research, click here! 

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