BEACON TRANSCRIPT – Sharks are more like you than you think, because, just like humans, they have their own unique personality. The discovery was made by a team of scientists from Macquarie University. The researchers examined the sharks of Port Jackson, on the east coast of Australia.
In the psychology of humans, personality is considered to be responsible for the way we are and how we respond to certain situations. This allows behavioral predictions because our response to different situations tends to remain consistent over time.
Over the past few decades, scientists have tried to show that hundreds of animals have an individual personality. It is not a strictly human characteristic. Thanks to this study, published in the Journal of Fish Biology, we can get new insight into the minds of the animals we share our planet with.
To determine if sharks possess personalities, their boldness was put to the test. Boldness not only determines their predilection to take risks. It also has an influence on health due to its connection to the stress hormones.
For starters, researchers have put the sharks in a special tank. Then, they waited to see how long it took them to leave the shelter and dive into the unknown. Afterwards, they pressured the sharks into handling stress and released them again. This helped the scientists in determining how long it took for the sharks to recover from stress.
The study’s results showed that each shark possessed a consistent behavior, which is ingrained, not spontaneous as previously thought. Some sharks were bolder than others, reacting better to stress over repeated trials than others. This goes to show that sharks are more like you than you think. They’re not mindless creatures. They have unique preferences and behaviors. Although simplistic, the discoveries do suggest that some sharks are more adventurous than other.
The study is important because understanding how a shark’s personality influences its behavior is critical to a better management of these predators. If each shark has its own individual character, managing their populations is more complicated than previously thought.
The results also help researchers to better interpret and even predict how these predators behave around humans. Because if sharks are more like you than you think, maybe a more humanly approach would help control them more efficiently.
IMAGE SOURCE: Wikipedia