Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Great whites and now Tigers too? Yo-rific!

Thanks to researchers in California, South Africa, and Guadalupe we know that white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) spend a lot of time yo-yo'ing through the water column. This behavior is often attributed to hunting activity with animals moving up and down in a straight line seeking prey items.

Tigers (Galeocerdo cuvier) on the other hand were thought to be generalized migrants, but all that has changed with an interesting study coming out of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa where a join effort with University of Tokyo, the Japanese National Institute of Polar Research, and the University of Florida, is shedding new light on the hunting behavior of tiger sharks by studying their swimming dynamics off the west coast of Hawai‘i Island.

As it turns out Tigers yo-yo too, as described by lead scientist Dr.Carl Meyer:

"These findings are exciting because they have given us unprecedented new insights into the behavior of these huge and difficult to study marine predators," explains Dr. Carl Meyer, a researcher at HIMB and the lead U.S. scientist of the project. Meyer also emphasizes the importance of these results “although we have long debated the reasons for the yo-yo diving, we have only recently developed tools allowing us to directly measure the behavior in sufficient detail to understand what these animals are actually doing”.

Complete study here.