Don’t they kill intentionally? The study confirms that sharks confuse surfers with seals

Illustrative image for the article Do not kill intentionally?  The study confirms that sharks confuse surfers with seals

Sharks do not attack humans intentionally, but swimmers or surfers are mistaken in the water for their usual food, such as seals, due to poor eyesight.

Sharks do not attack humans intentionally, but swimmers or surfers are mistaken in the water for their usual food, such as seals, due to poor eyesight.

Illustrative image for the article Do not kill intentionally?  The study confirms that sharks confuse surfers with seals

This assumption is confirmed by a scientific study recently published in the British Journal of the Royal Society Interface, published by the Royal Society, the AFP agency reported.

The research focused on the great white shark, of which people are most concerned. This species is thought to be able to sense odors and sound waves over long distances, but relies on its sight to hunt prey.

Poor vision

However, a new study has shown that the great white shark can only make a slight distinction between colors and shapes. His eyesight is six times worse than that of a human, so he can barely distinguish a human from a pinniped.

According to scientists, paddling and rowing of surfers and swimmers on the surface will give the shark the impression that these are seals that make similar movements with their fins. It is the great white shark and its young that has the highest risk of surfers mistaken for their normal prey.

The study compared videos capturing marine mammals and floating and surfing people from the shark’s perspective – from below. From this perspective, the great white shark cannot “Clearly visually distinguish humans from pinnipeds”, I write to the author.

Killers in the water

This is the first study to address cases of misidentification of prey from the perspective of great white sharks, its main author Laura Ryan, a biologist at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, told AFP.

In 2020, there were fewer than 60 shark attacks on humans worldwide. However, according to scientists, this is still enough to cause “disproportionate” fear, as very little is known about the behavior of sharks.

“A deeper understanding of why sharks are sometimes bitten may bring better solutions that will not only prevent but not endanger other marine animals.” Ryan said.

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Source: TASR

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