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AGU: A 'shark's eye' view: Witnessing the life of a top predator
Date:2/27/2014

what scientists had previously thought, and that deep-sea sharks swim in slow motion compared to shallow water species.

"These instrument packages are like flight data recorders for sharks," Meyer said. "They allow us to quantify a variety of different things that we haven't been able to quantify before."

"It has really drawn back the veil on what these animals do and answered some longstanding questions," he added.

Meyer and Kim Holland, a researcher also at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, are presenting the new research today at the 2014 Ocean Sciences Meeting co-sponsored by the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, The Oceanography Society and the American Geophysical Union.

Sharks are at the top of the ocean food chain, Meyer noted, making them an important part of the marine ecosystem, and knowing more about these fish helps scientists better understand the flow of energy through the ocean. Until now, sharks have mainly been observed in captivity, and have been tracked only to see where they traveled.

These new observations could help shape conservation and resource management efforts, and inform public safety measures, Holland said. The instruments being used by scientists to study feeding habits could also have commercial uses, including for aquaculture, he added.


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Contact: Mary Catherine Adams
mcadams@agu.org
202-412-0889
American Geophysical Union
Source:Eurekalert

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