Marine Life / Podcasts and Videos

Film Friday: Becoming a Shark

If you ever played Sharks & Minnows in your middle school pool party days, you’ve mimicked recent research from the University of Hawaii and University of Tokyo: seeing the world from the perspective of a shark. But whereas your swimming pool shark was single-mindedly trying to “catch fish,” it turns out that actual sharks’ schedules are much more complex. The UHawaii/UTokyo study explored sharks’ daily lives by attaching instruments to the animals themselves, which is a fairly standard procedure. These instruments commonly record information such as surrounding water properties and the shark’s location, but researchers in this study also decided to include videocameras that effectively transform the sharks into documentary filmmakers. One preliminary finding from these videos is that sharks may employ powered swimming more often than expected to move through the ocean. (Scientists previously believed that sharks primarily moved by gliding.) What else did the videos reveal? Check it out for yourself above!

This video and research was presented yesterday at the 2014 Ocean Science Meeting, which our blogger Serena Hackerott is currently attending. It must have been an entertaining presentation, because, as quoted in a National Geographic article, researcher Carl Meyer compared the upward movement of sharks seen at one part of the video to a “shark tornado”. We’re pretty confident that this research is more interesting than a certain B-movie, though!

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