SOEST News, first published May 11, 2023
Scalloped hammerhead sharks hold their breath to keep their bodies warm during deep dives into cold water where they hunt prey such as deep sea squids. This discovery, published today in Science by University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa researchers, provides important new insights into the physiology and ecology of a species that serves as an important link between the deep and shallow water habitats.
“This was a complete surprise!” said Mark Royer, lead author and researcher with the Shark Research Group at the Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) in the UH Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology. “It was unexpected for sharks to hold their breath to hunt like a diving marine mammal. It is an extraordinary behavior from an incredible animal.”
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