Showing posts from November, 2011

Thoughtful Sharks : Self Awareness

As described in my former posting (below), the blackfin reef sharks (Carcharhinus melanopterus) I was able to study closely for many years, demonstrate that they know each other as individuals in a variety of ways, one of which is their tendency to travel with a preferred companion. This pattern of swimming with a companion may have facilitated their acceptance of me, permitting me to swim over long periods of time with different individuals and learn where they went and how they passed their days.
They spend much of their time in home ranges, familiar regions where they prefer to be. Such areas are not defended in the way that territories are, so sharks with overlapping home ranges know each other. When they travel, they often go with one or more of these “neighbours”. They follow circular paths hundreds of feet across, oriented in different directions so that from above, their path has the shape of figure eights or cloverleafs. Following such circling pathways, they repeatedly cross …