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Life after death: behaviour of multiple shark species scavenging a whale carcass

Author:
Lea, J. S. E., Daly, R., Leon, C., Daly, C. A. K., Clarke, C. R.
Source:
Marine & freshwater research 2019 v.70 no.2 pp. 302-306
ISSN:
1323-1650
Subject:
Carcharhinus leucas, Galeocerdo cuvier, Ginglymostomatidae, Physeter macrocephalus, death, sharks, whales, Indian Ocean, Seychelles
Abstract:
A drone was used to study the richness and behaviour of scavengers attracted to the carcass of a sperm whale (Physeter microcephalus) in Seychelles, Western Indian Ocean. Over 30 sharks of 3 species (tiger shark Galeocerdo cuvier, bull shark Carcharhinus leucas and tawny nurse shark Nebrius ferrugineus) were recorded scavenging on the carcass. Tiger sharks dominated the scavenging, but with no evidence of agonistic behaviours or hierarchy, and may have facilitated scavenging by other species. Drone use allowed the analysis of such behaviours without observer influence, providing new insights into communal scavenging events.
Agid:
6287690