Let’s face it, more or less, we all thinks sharks are lonely cold blooded killers. Probably, thanks to the movies such as Jaws, most of us feel aversion towards this type of fish. True, their predatory appearance doesn’t leave any room to see them positively. But, did you know that sharks have their softer side? That’s what claims research conducted toward the blacktip reef and sand tiger sharks. It appears that these notorious fishes are very friendly creatures.
The researchers, from Macquarie University, examined a population of the blacktip reef sharks in French Polynesia. They watched 105 different sharks creating the social network between each other. Researchers revealed that these ocean dwellers are capable of displaying an affinity to another unit in the group. They also have an ability of social learning and clearly, show their preferences toward group members. On the other side, blacktip reef is known as a regular catch of coastal fisheries, so these social bondings can be purely out of the evolutionary advantages. Whatever the reasons, these fish showed complex relationships between each other and revealed their resilient society.
Second research was conducted at the University of Delaware. This time researchers examined social interactions between three hundred sand tiger sharks along the Eastern Seaboard. Sand tigers as blacktip reef are vulnerable species due to overfishing, but also because of their inherently low reproductive rates. This study lasted for more than three years and with the help of novel tagging procedure ( implanted acoustic transceivers ), they were able to collect data. What they learn was that these sharks were not only able to create connections with their species members but also with other fish species.
Their social calendars works like this: from March to May male sand tigers are solitary, traveling alone, perhaps for hunting or searching for a mate. Then they encounter again with the rest of females and broods. It is unknown for researchers ( set for the next study goal ) how they manage to find the same group ( previously abandoned ) in the vast ocean. Some individuals in the group even spent up to 95 consecutive hours together over the course of the year.
After all, sharks, aren’t territorial and aggressive to each other as we might think. Moreover, they tend to show a softer side to their fellow fishes.