AUG 23, 2016 08:20 AM PDT

Hammerhead Sharks Found to Swim on Their Sides to Save Energy

All the movies show sharks swimming right-side-up, but new research indicates that Hollywood has once again shown to be portraying the natural world in a way that doesn’t actually exist.
 
In a study published in the journal Nature, scientists learned that great hammerhead sharks, as well as many other species of sharks, actually swim on their sides up to 90% of the time.

Scientists tether important scientific instruments to a hammerhead shark for observation.

 Image Credit: R. Snow/ABC News

At varying angles between 50-75º, the sharks use this swimming method to reduce drag and save energy to make their swimming technique more efficient. This allows them to swim for longer periods of time.
 
Swimming in such a way allows the sharks to use their fins in a different way in order to save up to 10% more of their energy to put towards additional travel.
 
The data was gathered by cameras that showed the sharks swimming on their sides rather than upright, as well as equipment tethered to the large fish that could measure energy efficiency.
 
It was originally thought that the swimming behavior was due to an illness, or the sharks not having a proper state of mind, but as the observations became more and more common among observations in the study, it became obvious that this wasn’t the case.
 
"It quickly became clear that side-swimming is a reasonably common behavior in this species," said Dr Nicholas Payne, from the University of Roehampton. “Great hammerheads in public aquaria even do it. It is a fascinating solution to minimizing travel costs.

"Unfortunately, hammerhead sharks are disappearing from our oceans at an alarming rate, so observing them in the wild is increasingly difficult. Our finding highlights how much we still have to learn about our ocean's predators."

Although it’s getting harder to study hammerhead sharks due to their shrinking numbers, collecting this data can help us better understand the species behavior to get a better understanding of underwater aerodynamics.
 
Source: ABC News
 

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
JUL 02, 2018
Plants & Animals
JUL 02, 2018
Lemurs Can Detect the Weakest Link by Scent
While you might be able to tell if somebody else is injured merely by looking at them, it appears as though lemurs use an entirely different approach: the ...
JUL 02, 2018
Plants & Animals
JUL 02, 2018
Federal Study Indicates Trouble for Honeybees in America's Beekeeping Hot-Spot
Honeybees have it hard as it is, but when all else fails, they’re supposed to be able to rely on America’s last major honeybee refuge in the No...
JUL 16, 2018
Earth & The Environment
JUL 16, 2018
Do you know what your sunscreen is doing to coral reefs?
Hawaii Governor David Ige has signed into law a ban on the sale, offer, or distribution of any sunscreens containing oxybenzone or octinoxate. That means t...
JUL 23, 2018
Microbiology
JUL 23, 2018
Anglerfish Alert Researchers to a Third Type of Symbiosis
The light from inside the anglerfish bulb is made by bioluminescent bacteria, a symbiotic relationship we know little about....
AUG 06, 2018
Earth & The Environment
AUG 06, 2018
Goodbye to the ban on neonics, goodbye to the bees
Bye to the ban on neonics, bye to the bees An Obama-era ban on the use of neonicotinoids, pesticides which are known for their connection to global declini...
SEP 20, 2018
Earth & The Environment
SEP 20, 2018
Biodiverse forests are more resilient to drought
Biodiversity is confirmed yet again to be a savior for vulnerable species. In a new study published in Nature, scientists determined that forests with more...
Loading Comments...