Shallow water tidal flat use and associated specialized foraging behavior of the great hammerhead shark (Sphyrna mokarran)

Robert P. Roemer, Austin J. Gallagher, Neil Hammerschlag

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Abstract: Evidence suggests the great hammerhead shark, Sphyrna mokarran, is vulnerable to a variety of anthropogenic stressors, and is an understudied species of shark due to its cryptic nature and wide-ranging movements. While recognized as both a pelagic-coastal and a highly mobile predator, minimal anecdotal evidence exist describing shallow water habitat use by this species. This report describes six cases in which a great hammerhead shark utilizes an inshore shallow water flats environment (<1.5 m in depth), five of which involve prey capture. These observations permitted identification of two novel behaviors that may allow great hammerheads to inhabit these shallow habitats: a (1) prey-capture technique termed ‘grasp-turning’ that involves burst swimming at tight turning angles while grasping prey and (2) a post-predation recovery period whereby the shark maintains head-first orientation into the current that may facilitate respiration and prey consumption. These behavioral observations provide insights into the natural history of this species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-249
Number of pages15
JournalMarine and Freshwater Behaviour and Physiology
Volume49
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 3 2016

Fingerprint

Sphyrnidae
Sharks
tidal flat
foraging behavior
shark
shallow water
foraging
prey capture
Water
sharks
Ecosystem
water
Hand Strength
habitats
Natural History
natural history
habitat use
breathing
Respiration
respiration

Keywords

  • behavior
  • habitat use
  • hammerhead
  • predation
  • Shark
  • specializations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Oceanography
  • Physiology

Cite this

Shallow water tidal flat use and associated specialized foraging behavior of the great hammerhead shark (Sphyrna mokarran). / Roemer, Robert P.; Gallagher, Austin J.; Hammerschlag, Neil.

In: Marine and Freshwater Behaviour and Physiology, Vol. 49, No. 4, 03.07.2016, p. 235-249.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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