Every shark is unique.
(Mirror Daily, United States) – Statistics showed that the highest number of unprovoked attacks from sharks was registered in 2015. Compared with 72 attacks in 2014, 99 were reported last year.
However, these numbers are not even close to the 25,000 deaths caused by dogs every year, most of them because of rabies. Many people have a wrong perspective about sharks seeing them as monsters or some killers. Still, sharks are just complex marine mammals which turn out to have personalities.
A team of researchers from Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia discovered that every shark from the Port Jackson has its own personality expressed through their habits. The team made a study to establish which sharks are bolder than others.
In the first experiment, they put sharks into a shelter inside a tank. Then, they observed how much time the sharks needed to dare venture out of the shelter and explore the surroundings. In the second experiment, the sharks were picked up by a handler and released back into the tank.
Both of these experiments aimed to determine how sharks would cope with stress and how long would take them to calm down in a strange environment. Researchers learned that every shark handled the situations differently and continued to behave in a similar manner every time, with some of them seeming bolder than others.
Even if the study was quite simple, the results showed that some sharks are more adventurous and outgoing than others, meaning that they have various personality traits. According to Culum Brown, one of the researchers, these findings prove that shark behavior is varied and that these marine animals have unique preferences.
Plus, scientists believe that we will better understand and even predict in the future how some predators behave in the presence of humans. In addition to this, personality is related to behavior by influencing activity levels, habitat use, and prey choice.
According to Evan Byrnes, lead researcher, personality research has established in the past few decades that around 200 species of animals have an individual personality. We need to understand the role of sharks in our lives and the marine ecosystem in order to protect them better and avoid future casualties.