AUG 23, 2016 8:20 AM PDT

Hammerhead Sharks Found to Swim on Their Sides to Save Energy

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

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
JUN 02, 2020
Genetics & Genomics
Sea Snake Vision Has Been Evolving for Millions of Years
JUN 02, 2020
Sea Snake Vision Has Been Evolving for Millions of Years
New research has learned more about how and when sea snakes gained color vision.
JUN 09, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
The Key to Unlocking Next Generation Wearable Biosensors Is Under the Sea
JUN 09, 2020
The Key to Unlocking Next Generation Wearable Biosensors Is Under the Sea
Wearable biosensors are the latest trend in health and diagnostic technologies — keeping track of everything from ...
AUG 04, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
They're Serious: Ig Nobel-Inspired Researchers Re-examined Penguin's Bodily Fluid Dynamics
AUG 04, 2020
They're Serious: Ig Nobel-Inspired Researchers Re-examined Penguin's Bodily Fluid Dynamics
If this year has been nothing but stress and you are looking for a venue for some "serious" laughter, this is ...
AUG 05, 2020
Plants & Animals
Satellite Images Reveal New Emperor Penguin Colonies
AUG 05, 2020
Satellite Images Reveal New Emperor Penguin Colonies
The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and the European Space Agency (ESA) recently shared excellent news about emperor peng ...
AUG 13, 2020
Plants & Animals
A Mutation May Have Helped Howler Monkeys Survive Yellow Fever
AUG 13, 2020
A Mutation May Have Helped Howler Monkeys Survive Yellow Fever
In 2007, an outbreak of yellow fever devastated the howler monkey population of El Parque El PiƱalito. A genetic mutatio ...
SEP 10, 2020
Plants & Animals
Scientists Document Swimming Styles of Sea Butterflies
SEP 10, 2020
Scientists Document Swimming Styles of Sea Butterflies
Snails, marine and terrestrial, are likely primarily imagined to be attached to a substrate. However, under the waves, t ...
Loading Comments...