JUL 08, 2019 4:22 PM PDT

Why Do Lemon Sharks Eat Their Own Kind?

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Marine scientists were particularly astonished when they learned that only one year after 100 juvenile lemon sharks had been born, just 50 had remained. The debacle was undoubtedly enough to raise some eyebrows as experts wanted to know where all the juveniles had gone.

Heaps of research and countless observations later, the answer became apparent: adult lemon sharks were partaking in cannibalism, eating juveniles of their own kind in cold blood.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, juvenile lemon sharks will instinctively swim very close to underwater root systems, which can provide at least some protection from larger predators. On the other hand, some juveniles tend to stray too far away from their shelter, leaving them wide open to predation from larger lemon sharks.

Adult lemon sharks have the advantage when it comes to hunting juveniles because they too were once juveniles. With that in mind, they know exactly where to look for a meal, and it comes down to who sees whom first.

This cannibalistic behavior may seem counterproductive at first glance, but when it comes to hunger, it’s no surprise that a bigger lemon shark would take advantage of an easy meal whenever it can.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
APR 10, 2020
Earth & The Environment
APR 10, 2020
3D Printed Coral Successfully Grows Algae
Corals reefs are revered for their vibrant colors, as well as their ability to create thriving ocean communities. A key ...
APR 14, 2020
Plants & Animals
APR 14, 2020
Why Are Bats So Resistant to Viruses?
Bats are some of the most infamous carriers of zoonotic viruses, which are viruses capable of spreading between both ani ...
APR 16, 2020
Earth & The Environment
APR 16, 2020
Are monarch butterflies stressed out?
Perhaps in your life you have participated in a project involving monarch butterflies. I can still remember being surpri ...
APR 27, 2020
Cell & Molecular Biology
APR 27, 2020
Cold Foods Don't Taste as Good, Even to Flies
The deliciousness of a food appeal is about a lot more than just taste.
MAY 01, 2020
Earth & The Environment
MAY 01, 2020
Small wildfires boost native bee populations
A study from the University of California Riverside suggests that native bee species may thrive from the environmental e ...
MAY 10, 2020
Plants & Animals
MAY 10, 2020
Penguins Have a Rough Time Combating Larger Predators
Humboldt penguins are small and easy prey for larger predators, and with that in mind, it may not come as much of a surp ...
Loading Comments...