Science and Tech


'Shark's-Eye' View Gives Researchers New Insight

Researchers in Hawaii and Tokyo have released footage from one of the closest shark-tracking efforts.
Posted at 4:23 PM, Feb 28, 2014

Forget a bird's-eye view — researchers from the Universities of Hawaii and Tokyo went to the depths of the ocean to better understand one of the worlds most feared creatures.

With "shark's-eye" cameras, researchers can check out what the ocean's top predator is up to under the deep blue. (Via YouTube / infernalzen

Sensors and video recorders were attached to the sharks' fins along with an instrument ingested to find out a little more about feeding habits. (Via University of Hawaii / Mark Royer

In a press release, an assistant researcher said, "It is all about getting a much deeper understanding of sharks' ecological role in the ocean, which is important to the health of the ocean and, by extension, to our own well-being." (Via American Geophysical Union | University of Tokyo | University of Hawaii / Mark Royer)

Researchers tagged a tiger shark, a bluntnose sixgill shark, a Galapagos shark and sandbar sharks. The cameras caught footage researchers had never before seen until now. 

From the shark's perspectives, you can see them interacting with other fish, swimming in mixed schools and trying to grab the attention of lady sharks. (Via American Geophysical Union | University of Tokyo | University of Hawaii / Mark Royer

They also discovered that contrary to previous beliefs, sharks use powered swimming more often than a gliding motion to get across the ocean floor. (Via University of Hawaii

LiveScience points out this is the closest researchers have come when tracking sharks. In the past, the animals were observed in captivity, and migration habits were the focus of previous tracking efforts. 

Researchers also studied other fishy predators like tuna. They say the findings could help guide future conservation efforts.