Sink or swim? Great white sharks do both

Embargoed until: Publicly released:

Great white sharks repeatedly deep-dive and swim to the surface to save energy when hunting, according to Aussie and international researchers. 'Cold-blooded' animals such as fish and reptiles generally live life in the slow lane to save energy, but more active sea creatures such as sharks and sea turtles break this rule – travelling longer distances and swimming faster. The researchers attached trackers to great white sharks to see how they used energy when hunting for seals, and found the predators repeatedly deep dive by sinking up to 108m, then swim to the surface. This method saves them energy as it’s similar to ‘sitting and waiting’ for prey to approach them, rather than swimming long distances to hunt.

Journal/conference: The Journal of Experimental Biology

DOI: 10.1242/jeb.185603

Organisation/s: University of Tasmania, Flinders University

Funder: This work was funded by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) (25850138 and 16H04973), the Winifred Violet Scott Foundation, the Neiser Foundation, Nature Films Production, and supporters of the study through the crowdfunding campaign on Pozible. J.M.S. held a JSPS Invitation Fellowship for Research in Japan (L15560) during part of this work.

Attachments:

  • The Company of Biologists
    Web page
    The URL will go live after the embargo ends.

News for:

Australia
SA
TAS

Media contact details for this story are only visible to registered journalists.