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Hunting behaviour of white sharks recorded by animal-borne accelerometers and cameras


Watanabe, YY and Payne, NL and Semmens, JM and Fox, A and Huveneers, C, Hunting behaviour of white sharks recorded by animal-borne accelerometers and cameras, Marine Ecology Progress Series, 621 pp. 221-227. ISSN 0171-8630 (2019) [Refereed Article]

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© Inter-Research 2019

DOI: doi:10.3354/meps12981


ABSTRACT: Hunting large, fast-moving mammals by top predators often involves highly energetic burst locomotion, and studying such behaviour can reveal how physiological capacity shapes predator-prey relationships. Although increasingly sophisticated animal-borne devices have allowed the recording of terrestrial predators’ behaviour (e.g. cheetahs) hunting herbivorous mammals, similar approaches have rarely been applied to marine predators hunting mammals. Here, we deployed video cameras (lasting for 6 h) and accelerometers (lasting for 2 d) on 8 white sharks Carcharodon carcharias aggregating near colonies of long-nosed fur seals Arctocephalus forsteri. Video showed one shark attacking a seal, during which an intensive swimming event (lateral acceleration: 3.7 × g, tailbeat frequency: 3.3 Hz, estimated swim speed: 6.7 m s-1) was recorded. Based on this confirmed event, 7 potential predation events were identified from 150 h of acceleration data. The events occurred at various depths (0-53 m) and primarily at nighttime and during crepuscular periods, partly contrasting with well documented seal-hunting breaching behaviour that occurs primarily during crepuscular periods. This study demonstrates that, despite inherent difficulties, recording infrequent hunting events of top marine predators provides insight into their hunting strategies and maximum locomotor performance.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Carcharodon carcharias, biologging, locomotion, predator-prey relationship, swimming behaviour
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Behavioural ecology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems
UTAS Author:Semmens, JM (Professor Jayson Semmens)
ID Code:134714
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:5
Deposited By:Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration
Deposited On:2019-08-29
Last Modified:2020-08-06

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