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Infographic shows understanding animal movements. Credit: Hannah Armstrong, Dani Escontrela, louis Melgar, JingJie Xu

A new collaborative examine led by researchers at the college of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel college of Marine and also Atmospheric science & Abess center for Ecosystem scientific research & plan examined predator-prey interactions between tiger sharks and also sea turtles off the northwestern Atlantic Ocean.
The research team supplied long-term satellite tagging data from large tiger sharks and adult woman loggerhead sea turtles, usual prey of tiger sharks, to research their movement patterns and also evaluate if turtles modify their habits to minimize their chances of a shark attack when turtle and shark home ranges overlapped.

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The research revealed that tiger sharks undergo seasonal motions to take benefit of tortoise nesting off the Carolinas throughout the summer. Tiger sharks space ambush predators, primarily attack surfacing turtles native below. In theory, loggerhead turtles should alleviate their exposure at the surface ar in areas of high habitat overlap v tiger sharks. However, surprisingly, the researchers discovered that as soon as shark-turtle overlap in the study region was high, turtles go not alter surfacing behavior to hazard avoidance. Whereas, sharks did exhibit modified surfacing behavior believed to boost predation opportunity.

"We indicate that sharks might not be an essential factor affecting the activities of tortoise in the examine region," said research Assistant Professor Neil Hammerschlag at the UM Rosenstiel institution & Abess Center. "In enhancement to the unpredictability of a shark strike over such a huge area, it is feasible that fishing the tiger sharks has lessened their populaces to levels that no longer pose a far-reaching threat to turtles, v other factors becoming more important such together the need to avoid watercraft strikes"

The study is among the an initial to check if the "landscape of fear" model, a scientific theory that has actually been offered to define how pets move and interact with the environment based upon their are afraid of being attacked by your predators, is applicable to huge open naval systems involving wide-ranging species, choose sharks and also turtles.

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"This is one of the an initial studies to to compare the big scale, long-term motions of sea turtles with their natural predators, tiger sharks," stated study co-author Lucy Hawkes the the college of Exeter"s Centre for Ecology and also Conservation.

"These data are important for setup and prioritizing marine protection because that these species, which room both of preservation concern," said study co-author Matthew Witt the the college of Exeter"s Environment and also Sustainability Unit.