To better understand tiger sharks' behavior, researchers attached accelerometers and digital cameras to the dorsal fins of four sharks
One of the ocean's top predators seems to maneuver through multiple sea columns to enhance hunting rather than save energy, according to recent research.
Tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier) navigate vertically through water columns in what's called "yo-yo diving" -- or repeatedly descending into the ocean's depths and actively swimming upward in the same area.
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Before the data were collected, it was thought yo-yo diving in other fish might serve a purpose in conserving energy, perhaps assisting in regulating body temperatures or contributing to food foraging efforts. Energy conservation, in particular, makes sense at first glance since sharks can expend little energy by gliding during their descent into deeper waters and swimming back up.
But, as the study concludes, this wasn't the case.
To better understand tiger sharks' diving behavior, researchers attached accelerometers and digital still cameras to the dorsal fins of four wild sharks for a total of 24 hours off the coast of Hawaii island. The equipment recorded the sharks' acceleration and angles of movement, which detailed their speeds and whether the animal traveled horizontally, vertically or a variation of both.