Researchers at the University of St. Andrews use black boxes on sharks to learn more about their hunting behavior.
A new study, led by Dr. Yannis Papastamatiou from the University of St. Andrews Scottish Oceans Institute, uses black boxes, similar to a plane’s, to learn more about sharks hunting habits.
The sharks were fitted with the boxes to measure their activity at different parts of the day, how fast they swam, the depth they stayed, body temperature, and digestion periods.
“They use of theses technologies allow us to determine why animals in the wild behave the way they do. ‘Black-box’ technology allows us to reveal the secret lives of sharks,” said Dr. Papastamatiou.
While it has been widely believed that sharks are more prone to hunt for prey at night, the new boxes are helping to prove that theory.
The boxes showed that reef sharks were indeed more active at night, but more during the early evening. They believe this is because of excellent night vision that gives them an edge, as well as a thermal advantage where their bodies are warmer than their prey.
Their research also showed peak times when their bodies began to cool and reduced their digestive abilities.