Baby sharks stay still to avoid being detected by predators
Baby sharks still developing in their egg cases can sense when predators are near, and keep very still to avoid being detected, according to research published January 9 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Ryan Kempster from the University of Western Australia and colleagues. Adult sharks are known to use highly sensitive receptors to detect electric fields emitted by potential prey. In the current study, researchers found that embryos of some shark species employ similar means to detect potential predators and escape being eaten.
The researchers found that, even within their egg cases, brown-banded bamboo shark embryos can sense electric fields that mimic a predator, and respond by reducing respiratory gill movements to avoid detection. According to the authors, their results suggest that even at these early stages, embryonic sharks can recognize dangers and instinctively try to avoid them.
Kempster adds, "Despite being confined to a very small space within an egg case where they are vulnerable to predators, embryonic sharks are able to recognise dangerous stimuli and react with an innate avoidance response. Knowledge of such behaviours may help us to develop effective shark repellents."
Source: Public Library of Science
- Shark embryos 'detect predators'from BBC News: Science & NatureThu, 10 Jan 2013, 3:00:40 EST
- Baby sharks stay still to avoid being detected by predatorsfrom Science DailyWed, 9 Jan 2013, 20:00:42 EST
- Baby sharks detect predators' electric fieldsfrom MSNBC: ScienceWed, 9 Jan 2013, 20:00:37 EST
- Embryonic Sharks Freeze to Avoid Detectionfrom National GeographicWed, 9 Jan 2013, 19:30:55 EST
- In Photos: Baby Sharks Show Off Amazing Abilityfrom Live ScienceWed, 9 Jan 2013, 17:30:47 EST
- Plugged In: Shark Fetuses Detect Predators' Electric Fieldsfrom Live ScienceWed, 9 Jan 2013, 17:30:46 EST
- Baby sharks stay still to avoid being detected by predatorsfrom PhysorgWed, 9 Jan 2013, 17:00:21 EST
Latest Science NewsletterGet the latest and most popular science news articles of the week in your Inbox! It's free!
Check out our next project, Biology.Net
From other science news sites
Popular science news articles
- Babies fed directly from breast may be at less risk for ear infections
- Harnessing solar and wind energy in one device could power the 'Internet of Things'
- Early use of 'hurricane hunter' data improves hurricane intensity predictions
- Researchers make a key discovery in how malaria evades the immune system
- New malaria drugs kill by promoting premature parasite division
- Zika virus may be linked to more eye problems in Brazilian babies with microcephaly
- Study explores why there is no Labor Party in the United States
- Astronomers find giant planet around very young star
- Why is there no Labor Party in the United States?
- Discovery could energize development of longer-lasting batteries