Sharks Hunt by Combining Their Senses

sharks

Sharks hunt by combining their senses, is the newest finding from the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Fla., the University of South Florida in Tampa and Boston University. The research was supported by the National Science Foundation and published in the journal Plos-One after 61/2 years. As the Latin Post describes, the researchers have examined the shark’s vision, taste, smell and other senses in order to understand how they hunt their prey. The biologists have also taken in account the shark’s lifestyle and species.

The results of the study were astonishing. The researchers found that sharks hunt by combining their senses, and they would hunt differently due to the difference in species and lifestyle. Furthermore, it is critical to know how sharks interact with the environment in order to sustain a healthy global ocean population. Latin Post adds that in the past, researchers thought that the sharks were hunting based on their sense for smell. However, the sense of smell wasn’t as important, the study shows. Sharks were able to hunt visually, could swim toward the prey gracefully by using their lateral lines (sensors that feel water movement), strike by using their vision. Sharks are also able to detect the electrical fields produced by their prey.

Jayne Gardiner, a postdoctoral fellow at Sarasota’s Mote Laboratory, said that the team placed three different shark species – a blacktip, a bonehead and a nurse, and placed a video camera seeing through the tank’s window.  Fish or shrimp were placed on the other tank’s side, while the team was releasing a hungry shark. As Bradeton Herald states, the next step for the research team was a temporary block of one of the shark’s senses. They blocked the vision with heavy plastic, the nose by using plugs with petroleum jelly, and paint that blocks the sense of electric movement and the lateral lines. When the sharks were released to get the fish, they didn’t have a problem.

Jayne Gardiner and her colleagues were surprised. She says that the most surprising result of the study is how the sharks are flexible in using their senses to grab the prey. She adds that the nurse shark was the only one that relied on the smell, but the blacktip and the bonehead could do it visually. This was an important study for the team because it showed that the sharks could feed in different environments.

Phillip Motta, professor at the Tampa campus, co-authored the study, saying that this was the most comprehensive multisensory work on any shark. To him, the most interesting difference was how different sharks were using and switching their senses to catch the prey. David Shiffman, a shark biologist from the University of Miami, praised the study, calling it as a step up in behavioral ecology, as stated in the Tampa Bay News.

The fact that sharks hunt combining their senses will have to change the way the mass thinks, because sharks are more complicated creatures than previously thought, Shiffman adds. Tampa Bay News writes that they researchers hope to know how the water pollutants affect sharks’ senses . Their next study involved understanding why the females return to the same place of birth to bore their young.

by Marija Makeska

Sources:

Tampa Bay News

Bradenton

Latin Post

One Response to "Sharks Hunt by Combining Their Senses"

  1. Babu G. Ranganathan   April 4, 2014 at 8:01 am

    NOT MADE BY NATURE! Just because something exists in nature doesn’t mean it was invented or made by Nature. If all the chemicals necessary to make a cell were left to themselves, “Mother Nature” would have no ability to organize them into a cell. It requires an already existing cell to bring about another cell. The cell exists and reproduces in nature but Nature didn’t invent or design it! Nature didn’t originate the cell or any form of life. An intelligent power outside of nature had to be responsible.

    Natural laws can explain how an airplane or living cell works, but it’s irrational to believe that mere undirected natural laws can bring about the origin of an airplane or a cell. Once you have a complete and living cell then the genetic program and biological machinery exist to direct the formation of more cells, but how could the cell have originated naturally when no directing code and mechanisms existed in nature? All of the founders of modern science believed in God. Read my Internet article: HOW FORENSIC SCIENCE REFUTES ATHEISM

    Only evolution within “kinds” is genetically possible (i.e. varieties of dogs, cats, etc.), but not evolution across “kinds” (i.e. from sea sponge to human). How did species survive if their vital tissues, organs, reproductive systems were still evolving? Survival of the fittest would actually have prevented evolution across kinds! Read my Internet article: WAR AMONG EVOLUTIONISTS! (2nd Edition). I discuss: Punctuated Equilibria, “Junk DNA,” genetics, mutations, natural selection, fossils, genetic and biological similarities between species.

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    What about genetic and biological similarities between species? Genetic information, like other forms of information, cannot happen by chance, so it is more logical to believe that genetic and biological similarities between all forms of life are due to a common Designer who designed similar functions for similar purposes. It doesn’t mean all forms of life are biologically related! Also, “Junk DNA” isn’t junk. These “non-coding” segments of DNA have recently been found to be vital in regulating gene expression (i.e. when, where, and how genes are expressed). Read my popular Internet article: HOW FORENSIC SCIENCE REFUTES ATHEISM

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    Sincerely,
    Babu G. Ranganathan*
    (B.A. theology/biology)

    Author of popular Internet article, TRADITIONAL DOCTRINE OF HELL EVOLVED FROM GREEK ROOTS

    * I have had the privilege of being recognized in the 24th edition of Marquis “Who’s Who In The East” for my writings on religion and science, and I have given successful lectures (with question and answer time afterwards) defending creation from science before evolutionist science faculty and students at various colleges and universities

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