UH scientists uncover "Sharknado" behavior

Published On: Feb 27 2014 03:43:00 PM HST

Tagging 12-foot tigers sharks just part of the territory for UH researchers.

Results of their latest findings are now being shared widely.

Click here to watch Catherine Cruz's report.

Hours of shark cam video, a shark's eye view of sorts, has reinforced why tiger sharks in the wild are so feared.

"It seems to be the case, that nothing really seems to want to hang out with a tiger shark,” said Carl Meyer, researcher with the University of Hawaii’s Institute of Marine Biology.

The video cams secured on different species of sharks from has produced startling insights about survival behavior.

Rather than end up as a meal for the mighty predator sandbar sharks, galapagos and hammer heads prefer to hang together for protection.

"So by being in a school of sharks you decrease your odds of being the one that's being caught when a big tiger shark comes through and wants to eat you," said Meyer.

And that's where "Sharknado" comes in.

That school of sharks surprisingly -- stays together to survive

"It stays together throughout the day, but then they gradually swim higher and higher like a tornado of sharks, until sometime in the later afternoon or evening, then they go off on their own to do their own thing," Meyer said.

But besides the shark cam video, scientists have figured out a way to get inside a shark's stomach using what's essentially an electronic pill.

Technology developed right here in Hawaii has enabled scientists to monitor digestive behavior using a little four-inch plastic device.

"After a period to time, they are regurgitated by the sharks and they float to the surface and we download the information to see how often sharks are fed and to get a sense of how much they have been eating," said Meyer.

Scientists hope to expand their video- tagging studies to sharks in Maui waters in an effort to understand what’s behind the recent record attacks.

Meyer says so far no frenzy feeding.

But he expects it will just be a matter of time.

For now, the tiger shark point-of-view is that of the predator on the prowl.


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