Saturday, March 31, 2018

Social Interactions of Sicklefin Lemon Sharks - Paper!

Click for detail!

Very nice!

Check this out.
It describes the behavior of Sicklefin Lemons at two provisioning sites in French Polynesia.
And assuming I understand the paper correctly, the observations coincide to a large degree with what we observe here with our Bulls, i.e. that these largely solitary animals develop a rudimentary etiquette when they aggregate at a provisioning site (and possibly equally at some communal feeding event like a Whale carcass) whereby a) dominance is not necessarily determined only by size and sex but rather, also by individual boldness; b) when there are many Sharks, some particularly dominant individuals react to the  increased competition by monopolizing the food source i.e. the bait cage and in our case, the suspended bin; c) as time goes by, "regular" Sharks appear to become more tolerant vis-a-vis other "regular" individuals of the same species whom they appear to recognize and d) the Sharks appear to tolerate conspecifics with equal ranking but tend to avoid more dominant individuals.
French synopsis here!

I really like it,  and the way they did collect the evidence.
We actually had a masters student do something similar a few years back with the Reefies - but it would be really cool if we were able to replicate this with our Bull Sharks that are our real focal species! The problem is the suspended vertical video camera as per the image at the top, as the rig would be unsightly for the tourists and above all, it would likely be eaten in no time - but I'm sure that we'll figure something out!

With that in mind, keep watching this space!
Enjoy the paper!

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