eCite Digital Repository

Swimming strategies and energetics of endothermic white sharks during foraging


Watanabe, YY and Payne, NL and Semmens, JM and Fox, A and Huveneers, C, Swimming strategies and energetics of endothermic white sharks during foraging, Journal of Experimental Biology, 222, (4) Article jeb185603. ISSN 0022-0949 (2019) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2019 The Authors

DOI: doi:10.1242/jeb.185603


Some fishes and sea turtles are distinct from ectotherms by having elevated core body temperatures and metabolic rates. Quantifying the energetics and activity of the regionally endothermic species will help us understand how a fundamental biophysical process (i.e. temperature-dependent metabolism) shapes animal ecology; however, such information is limited owing to difficulties in studying these large, highly active animals. White sharks, Carcharodon carcharias, are the largest fish with regional endothermy, and potentially among the most energy-demanding fishes. Here, we deployed multi-sensor loggers on eight white sharks aggregating near colonies of long-nosed fur seals, Arctocephalus forsteri, off the Neptune Islands, Australia. Simultaneous measurements of depth, swim speed (a proxy for swimming metabolic rate) and body acceleration (indicating when sharks exhibited energy-efficient gliding behaviour) revealed their fine-scale swimming behaviour and allowed us to estimate their energy expenditure. Sharks repeatedly dived (mean swimming depth, 29 m) and swam at the surface between deep dives (maximum depth, 108 m). Modal swim speeds (0.80–1.35 m s−1) were slower than the estimated speeds that minimize cost of transport (1.3–1.9 m s−1), a pattern analogous to a ‘sit-and-wait’ strategy for a perpetually swimming species. All but one shark employed unpowered gliding during descents, rendering deep (>50 m) dives 29% less costly than surface swimming, which may incur additional wave drag. We suggest that these behavioural strategies may help sharks to maximize net energy gains by reducing swimming cost while increasing encounter rates with fast-swimming seals.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:biologging, swim speed, cost of transport, optimal behaviour
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Behavioural ecology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Marine biodiversity
UTAS Author:Semmens, JM (Professor Jayson Semmens)
ID Code:131782
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:45
Deposited By:Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration
Deposited On:2019-04-04
Last Modified:2020-08-06
Downloads:30 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page