Nearly three years after a female shark was flying, it was tagged with a satellite transmitter in Malin Head, the northernmost point of Ireland, and it was filmed at Nauset Beach, Massachusetts.
face, this may not seem like a remarkable event, but the number of unlikely events that were perfectly leveled to make it possible to identify this shark would make even the most ardent skeptic wonder if it was a fate. .
And even more fortunate is the fact that this landing provides a window into the movement of one of the most bizarre-looking fish in the ocean, which has a huge, furrowed structure in its mouth where one can expect smooth flesh. [1
Three Years Old Tale
The series of happy events began in August 2014, when a shark was tagged with a satellite transmitter right from Malin Head, a hotspot for shark fishing in the northeast Atlantic. After a few months, the device stopped transmitting data.
"This is not unusual," says Jonathan Houghton, one of the leading researchers at the University of Queen's Belfast's research. "If you put electronics out to sea, some things just thicken after a while."
But then, disappeared in June 2017, the shark was photographed by an underwater photographer more than 4,600 kilometers off the east coast of North America.
The photo made the rounds in Europe, and when they reached the research teams, they noticed something amazing: Attached to the no longer functioning shark tracking device was a small, immaculate gadget that the researchers had created for themselves as buoyant support. At that time, this shark was the only one that carried the modified device. They realized it was the same shark they had tagged nearly three years ago.
This marks the second time this species has been observed moving across the Atlantic Ocean, the first being in 2008.
"Up to this point, we have never been able to track shark movement for more than, say, nine months or a year. So to understand its movements in a three-year timeline across the Atlantic, it completely changed the way we think, "Houghton said.
And it would not be possible without luck. "Scientists like to say that everything we do is based on absolutely brilliant preliminary thought. But sometimes we just get lucky," he admitted.
Shark of interest
The basketball shark has long been a kind of interest. The public is interested in its unusual (to say the least) appearance. Scientists are more interested in reducing the Pacific population.
"There was a lot of conflict between sharks and commercial fishing in the mid-20th century," says Paul Mansink, who conducts research at Western.
Measured up to 12 meters (40 feet) long, it is the second largest fish and has the habit of colliding with boats and entangling in fishing gear. This led to a deliberate effort to eradicate sharks in the Pacific. "There's a little dark history on the Pacific coast," Mansink said.
However, the species is healthier in the Atlantic. The sharks have two populations here, one in the northeast Atlantic near Ireland and Scotland and the other in the North American region of the ocean.
The shark voyage from the northeast Atlantic to the waters of North America is a mix of these two populations. "We knew the transatlantic movement could happen, but it wasn't very common," Houghton said.
What they did not know before this study was whether the sharks that traveled across the Atlantic were prone to returning to their local populations. "That this animal became part of the North American population three years later is a completely new finding," says Houghton. "There is no kind of bungee cord where they have to go back to the other side.
When you think about it, Mansink said," the oceans get a little smaller. "
What's in his mouth?
Probably not just Houghton and Mensink, who doubled over, saw the photo. Most people who came across it were probably to the untrained eye, the inside of the shark's mouth appears to contain ribs.
This, of course, is not that, because sharks are cartilaginous fish that lack bone, Hutton explained.
The structure may not be ribs, but it serves some of the same purposes. "When the shark opens its mouth, it's kind of like opening your jacket on a windy day. This cartilage inflates and gives it some structure so that its skin does not just wiggle, "Houghton said.
It also serves the less practical purpose of turning a chamomile shark into one of the most bizarre-looking fish. into the ocean.