From Jack the Ripper to Great White Sharks
Friday 3 July 2009
A team of US based scientists have used CSI techniques to study great white shark hunting patterns.
Published in ZSL's Journal of Zoology, their research demonstrates how geographic profiling can be used to give a unique insight into great white shark hunting behaviour.
The scientists found that the sharks possess a well-defined anchor point or search base for hunting, but not where the chances of prey interception were greatest.
Instead the attacks seemed to take place at strategic locations that could offer a balance of prey detection, capture rates, and inter-shark competition.
“The study expands our knowledge of how large predators hunt and offers a new scientific reference for studying other predator-prey systems,” explains co-author Neil Hammerschlag, from the University of Miami.
The scientists observed 340 shark attacks. Their data also revealed that younger sharks exhibited less focused search patterns and were less successful hunters, perhaps because larger sharks excluded them from the best areas.
© Neil Hammerschlag / www.neil4sharks.org
Journal of Zoology
Recently listed as one of the 100 Most Influential Journals in Biology & Medicine over the last 100 Years as voted by the BioMedical & Life Sciences Division of the Special Libraries Association.