The white sharks that congregate near Guadalupe Island at certain times of the year piqued the interest of scientists. Scientific research has shown that sharks patrol in pairs or groups, halting at seal colonies throughout the island for a look-see.
One of the most advanced social tags ever developed by science was able to gather information for up to 5 days before ejecting itself from the shark and rising to the surface. For this purpose, it was fitted with a video recorder and an arrangement of sensors that tracked the shark’s movement as it swam. What made this tagging social was the ability to recognize other marked sharks in the vicinity.
Over the course of 4 years, the researchers placed tags on 6 white sharks, three of which were males and three of which were females. They are more likely to form subgroups with those of the similar sex. However, if there were any other commonalities between the sharks, it was that every shark was completely distinct.
After just 30 hours, one of the sharks developed the most connections—12 links. The tracker was attached to a second shark for 5 days, although it only made contact with 2 other sharks during that period. Furthermore, they used a variety of hunting techniques. Some were found in the shallows, while others were found far broader. At different times of day, a few were busier than others.
As far as researchers are concerned, they still need to know why certain sharks are sociable. The answer to this question is largely a mystery, but it’s safe to assume they’ll stick around if other animals are competent in hunting huge prey. They aren’t operating jointly, yet being sociable might be a means to exchange knowledge. The secrets of these creatures may now be revealed thanks to modern equipment.
The study was published in Biology Letters.